Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will meet with the outgoing minister of industry and trade, Jan Mládek and deputy ministers on Wednesday, to take the reins at the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the interim. The prime minister’s move to sack Mr Mládek was welcomed last week by President Miloš Zeman. Mr Sobotka told journalists after the cabinet meeting on Monday that he had already received approval to head the ministry for the time being. He is expected to head the ministry for several weeks.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s decision to temporarily take over the industry ministry portfolio following the dismissal of Jan Mládek has sparked criticism from business leaders and economic experts. In a survey conducted by the ctk news agency they say the ministry needs an expert in the field not temporary management and express the hope that the post will soon be filled. The prime minister said on Thursday that he would propose a replacement for Mr. Mládek after the Social Democrat’s election conference in March. Jan Mládek was sacked for allegedly failing to support the government’s efforts to cut mobile data costs for Czechs.
After the sudden, if not totally surprising, announcement that long time Social Democrat stalwart Jan Mládek, would be dismissed as minister for industry and trade at the start of the week, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was expected to follow through by announcing a replacement on Thursday night. Those expectations were confounded.
The average wage in the Czech automobile industry in 2016 stood at 34,820 crowns, which is an increase of 3.7 percent on the previous year, the Czech Automotive Industry Association reported on Thursday. That figure is 30 percent higher than the country’s average salary. High productivity of work and higher added value of products in the automobile industry is one of the main reasons behind the consistent salary growth.
Vehicle producer Tatra is an iconic name in the Czech Republic and indeed in the world of car and truck production. The Czech company claims to be the second oldest car manufacturer in the world with its first model, the Präsident, being rolled out in 1897. The first truck followed a year later at the plant in Kopřivnice, in the far east of the country in the Moravia-Silesia region.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has fired Czech Trade and Industry Minister Jan Mládek just eight months ahead of general elections. The minister, who survived a number of crises in office, was given the boot over his alleged unwillingness to secure lower telephone and mobile data tariffs in the Czech Republic.
Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek has been dismissed from office. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the news after Monday’s session of the government saying he would inform President Zeman about his decision on Thursday and say who he wanted as a replacement. Mladek has been under fire in recent weeks among others for saying that mobile “roaming” services were for an elite class of people that make up 5 percent of the population. He also received negative publicity when his deputy Lubomír Bokštefl told participants in an on-line debate to “go to Poland” if they wanted Polish rates for mobile data.
The future of the OKD mining company, which was forced to declare bankruptcy last year, remains uncertain after the government rejected its proposed sale to the state owned company Diamo for a symbolic one crown. The move was supported only by the Social Democrats; ANO voted against since it is in favour of a private investor and the Christian Democratic Party said it could not support the motion since it had insufficient information regarding the potential investor’s future plans. OKD is currently undergoing a reorganization and its future depends on finding a strategic partner.
Czech car companies and the government have not hitherto been in the forefront of moves to promote electric cars but now both appear to have changed directions. The government is now looking to back their roll out and the biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, says a quarter of its production could be electric or hybrid cars by 2025.
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