The Czech power utility ČEZ is selling its coal-fired power plant in Varna
to the Bulgarian company SIGDA OOD. ČEZ was forced to halt operations at
the plant in 2015 after it failed to bring it up to EU environmental rules.
ČEZ said it had been denied an exemption by the European Commission and
the plant could not continue to work without an environmental upgrade. With
a generating capacity of 1,260 megawatt, the plant serves as a back-up to
the national power grid and the Bulgarian authorities have stressed the
importance of keeping it in operation, pointing out it could become a much
needed source of energy if Bulgaria were to be hit by a gas crisis.
ČEZ wants to leave the Bulgarian market due to drawn-out problems with the local authorities. It is to decide about the sale of all its Bulgarian assets, which include two renewable energy plants and an electricity trader, by the end of this year.
One of the important issues discussed at the two-day EU summit in Brussels was proposed changes in the mechanism of EU decision-making, which would allow some EU members to push ahead with integration faster. For the Czech Republic, which is still outside the Eurozone, this could present a serious problem.
The Czech crown this week reached its strongest level to the euro since before the Czech Central Bank launched its intervention regime in 2013, when it climbed to on Wednesday. I discussed the current development – and the future outlook for the crown – with Patria Finance’s chief economist, Jan Bureš.
The prices of apartments in Prague have skyrocketed in recent years, making it almost impossible for many people to find affordable housing in the capital. A group of people united in a project called Sdílené domy or Shared Houses decided to buy a house in Prague, and administer it themselves: not as a traditional tenants’ association, but as a community. In the future, they would also like to create a co-housing network across the country.
The Czech tax authorities are preparing a change in regulations that will
impact those who rent out their properties long-term via Airbnb or similar
platforms, iHned.cz reported on Thursday. In a statement, the Financial
Administration said such services would be taxed the same as accommodation
services or other forms of enterprise, not as rent.
Landlords who earn CZK 1 million or more annually will be required to register as payers of value added tax.