The consumer finance group Home Credit, owned by the richest Czech Petr
Kellner, hired a PR agency to improve the media image of the Communist
Party of China and thus influence Czech society in its favour, news site
Aktuálně reported on Tuesday, citing documents in its possession.
From April to August 2019, money for some 2,000 hours of work was apparently paid by Home Credit to C&B Reputation Management. The PR agency was hired to “help those who support the Chinese regime in the media and attack its critics” and also organised the creation and activities of an institute called Sinoskop – Institut for Contemporary China, Aktuálně writes. However, the director of the agency, Tomáš Sazima, says that its work was only to “moderate the debate about China and bring in relevant elements”.
In an annual report published last month the Czech counterintelligence service BIS considered the spread of China's influence in the Czech Republic to be one of the greatest security threats.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic remained at 2.6 percent in November, the
same as the previous month, the Czech Labour Office announced on Monday.
The number of jobless increased by 771 to 197,289, which is the lowest figure for the month since 1996, while the number of vacancies increased to 339,000. Last November, unemployment stood at 2.8 percent.
The lowest rate of unemployment, 1.8 percent, is in the Pardubice region, which is followed by Prague with 1.9 percent.
The tiny post office in the West Bohemian mountain town of Boží Dar –
meaning God’s gift –has started processing huge amounts of Christmas
mail from around the country and abroad.
The post office annually stamps hundreds of thousands of Christmas greetings with a special Christmas stamp, making these letters a popular collector’s item for the sender and recipient.
It is also the post office to which Czech children send letters to Baby Jesus or Ježísek telling him what they’d most like to get for Christmas. In the course of December the post with its four employees gets on average 15 kilograms of mail a day.
This year’s stamp, designed by Pavel Sivko, is a Christmas motif of floating candles in nutshells.
Czech economic growth in the 3rd quarter has slowed to 2.5 percent
year-on-year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.
Compared to the 2nd quarter GDP rose by 0.4 percent.
Analysts say this confirms the predicted slow-down in economic growth, although compared to the situation in Germany, the Czech Republic’s main export destination, the Czech figures are still viewed as positive.
Economic growth in 2018 reached 2.9 percent and the prediction for this year is 2.5 percent.
Working groups of the so-called Coal Commission expect to draft plans to
end coal mining in the Czech Republic sometime after 2030 onwards in order
to reduce C02 emissions. The scenarios should be ready in January.
The Czech Republic is the fifth-biggest polluter in Europe and the 20th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions, and the key reason is the share of coal-fired power plants in the country’s energy mix.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has said new nuclear power units must be built, even if in breach of European law, to offset the loss of electricity generated by coal.
The Coal Commission advisory board is co-chaired by the ministers of environment and industry, and includes experts appointed by relevant stakeholders, including industry, labour unions, NGOs and communities in coal-producing regions. Some members expect the coal-exit to take place in 2040 at the earliest.
The European Commission on Thursday revised its outlook for Czech economic
growth for this year. In the newly released macro-economic forecast it sees
the country’s gross domestic product growth falling to 2.5 percent.
The report expects growth next year to reach 2.2 percent. Earlier this year it predicted a figure of 2.5 percent for 2020.
Environmental activists continue to occupy a giant excavator at the Vršany
brown coal mine in protest against the planned sale of the coal-burning
Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven Energy, belonging to
Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač. The activists, who forced their way to the
mine on Tuesday morning, are also calling on the Ministry of Environment to
reject an exemption from EU emission norms for the Chvaletice coal power
plant, which also belongs to Sev.en Energy.
Academics and former politicians have been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale of Počerady on the ground that the plant’s continued operation would be in violation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
A group of eight environmental activists who forced their way into the
Vršany brown coal mine early on Tuesday to protest against continued
mining in the region remain on the grounds of the mine for a second day
The protest is an effort to prevent the planned sale of the coal-burning Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven Energy belonging to Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač. Police are monitoring the situation but have not so far intervened.
Academics and former politicians have also been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale on the grounds that the plant’s continued operation would be in violation of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
The richest Czech, Petr Kellner, is taking over the country’s most popular TV station, Nova. The purchase of Nova operator CME by Kellner’s PPF Group will also give it control of a number of other channels in the region. However, critics say the move is politically motivated and have warned of a new danger to press freedom. Among those voices is Josef Šlerka, director of the Foundation for Independent Journalism.
A group of seven environmental activists forced their way into the Vršany
brown coal mine early on Tuesday to stage a protest against the planned
sale of the coal-burning Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven
Energy belonging to Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač.
Police are monitoring the situation and a mediator has been called to the scene. Academics and former politicians have also been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale on the grounds that the plant's continued operation would be in violation of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.