The Czech government needs to invest hundreds of billions of crowns to shore up the economy, with the crucial auto industry particularly vulnerable. Measures being taken now will alleviate the unemployment that will inevitably follow the coronavirus crisis. And the weak crown is of no benefit to exporters if they aren’t producing anything. So says the vice president of the Czech Confederation of Industry, Radek Špicar, who I spoke to late last week.
Among the many coronavirus measures introduced by the Czech government is a “kurzarbeit”, or short-time working, programme. Under the scheme the state will make up some of the income lost by employees whose work is reduced by factory outages, helping firms avoid redundancies. The idea has received widespread backing, including from the Czech Confederation of Trade Unions, headed by Josef Středula. I discussed it – and the outlook in general – with the unions chief.
Škoda has announced the name of its first electric SUV. The latest Škoda model, which is still in development and should hit the market in 2022, has been named Enyaq. The name starts with the letter E symbolizing electromobility and ends with Q, which the brand uses in the names of all its SUV models. The name is derived from the Irish word enya meaning "source of life." Enyaq is the latest in a series of Škoda SUV models, following up on Kodiaq, Karoq and Kamiq.
Over 20 percent of Czech employees changed their job over the past six months, and more than a fifth are considering finding new employment or are actively searching for it, according to a global survey Workmonitor carried out by the recruitment agency Randstad. The survey also suggests that 65 percent of Czech employees are happy with their current employer.
The Czech National Bank may get extended powers in being able to dictate
conditions for mortgage loans to banks, according to an amendment to the
law approved in its first reading by the lower house on Friday.
At present the central bank only has the right to issue recommendations which are not binding, although they are generally adhered to. According to the bill’s proponents it is to lower the risk of potential losses and protect the resilience of the financial sector.
The proposed amendment was vehemently opposed by the Civic Democrats, the Pirate Party a TOP 09, who argued that it could make housing less accessible to young people.
It is now being reviewed by the Budget Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 2.9 percent in December, up from
2.6 percent in November, according to data released by the Czech Labour
Office on Thursday.
Despite the rise, it is the lowest figure for the period of December since 1996. According to the statistics, there are currently 215,500 people seeking employment.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Prague, with 1.9 percent, while the highest number of unemployed, 4.4 percent, was registered in the region of Moravia-Silesia.
In his traditional Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman began as usual on a positive note – highlighting the country’s economic successes – before turning to what he views as problematic areas. In a 16-minute televised address otherwise void of religious symbolism, Zeman also branded himself a “climate heretic” and urged Czechs to think for themselves rather than follow “false prophets”.
There are currently just over 700 electric-powered cars on Czech roads, but as their number grows, Czech firefighters are undergoing training in extinguishing fires in lithium-ion batteries. Incidents around the world show that while putting out a fire in a fuel-powered vehicle may take 10 to 15 minutes, a fire in an electric power car may take over an hour with an increased danger of re-ignition.
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.