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 lower house‘s Investigatory Commission on OKD announced on Tuesday that it has decided to file a criminal complaint against four former government ministers for their role in the privatisation of the Silesian coal mining joint-stock company Ostravsko-karvinské doly (OKD). Among them is the former prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka. According to the commission, the privatisation and subsequent events were in contradiction to the interests of the state.
The level of overall trust in the Czech economy has fallen to a five year low according to the results of a monthly industry survey conducted by the Czech Statistical Office and published on Tuesday. Among consumers and entrepreneurs year-on-year trust levels fell, while among industry and construction representatives trust levels have remained the same for the past four months.
Czech businesses are still struggling to find workers, the news site Ihned.cz reports. In August, labour offices in the Czech Republic posted more than 350,000 vacancies, which is the highest figure in the country’s history, the website wrote. The biggest demand is for construction workers, warehousemen, or truck drivers.
Unemployment held steady at 2.7 percent in August, according to Labour
Office data published on Monday. In Prague, the unemployment rate remained
at 2 percent.
Fewer than 205,000 people in the country were seeking work last month, the lowest number for the month of August since 1996.
The overall number of jobseekers is expected to rise slightly in September, mainly due the entry into the labour market of a large number of school-leavers.
The Czech Republic’s year-on-year industrial production figures grew by
0.1 percent in July, factoring in the difference of two working days, the
Czech Statists Office reported on Friday. Unadjusted, the increase was 5.6
The main drivers of growth were the automobile industry, electrical equipment production and manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products.
The country’s external trade balance in goods ended with a surplus of 0.1 billion crowns in July, compared to a deficit of 8.2 billion in the same month last year. Exports grew year-on-year by 8.4 percent to 289.5 billion crowns and imports by 5.1 percent to 289.5 billion crowns.
Business and government representatives gathered near the western Bohemian town of Žatec on Wednesday to attend the official opening of a new Nexen Tire plant. The factory, which also features a research and development facility, is the third largest foreign investment project in the Czech Republic to be brokered by the country’s business development agency CzechInvest.
The newly established Coal Commission will meet for the first time on
Monday to discuss coal’s future role in the Czech Republic’s energy mix
and address how to manage its reduced production and use.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) announced the creation of the Coal Commission this March. The 19-member advisory board is co-chaired by Brabec and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (ANO). It also includes experts appointed by relevant stakeholders, including industry, labour unions, NGOs and local communities.
Brabec said the main goal is to conduct a structured national debate on the transition from fossil fuels towards renewables and nuclear against the backdrop of combatting climate change.
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 coal-fired power plants.
Last year, brown coal-fired power plants produced the most electricity in the national energy mix (43 percent), followed by nuclear power plants (a third) and renewable sources (11 percent).