The cost of making calls from public telephone boxes to fixed line numbers in the Czech Republic is set to increase by 150 percent. Operator Telefonica has announced a rise in the cost of a one-minute call from two to five crowns from next Monday. Calling a mobile phone will cost the same as it does now.
New electronic communication legislation passed by the government has raised concerns about the erosion of personal liberties. The legislation enables phone operators to collect data about their customers including where, when and whom people are calling. The legislation narrowly passed its second reading after being rejected in the first round by the coalition Green Party. The opposition Social Democrats have accused the bill of fomenting the notion of a police state, spying on its citizens. They also criticised that the state, not the companies involved would be paying for the collection of data – with an estimated price tag of around 300 million crowns. The governing Civic Democrats have defended the legislation arguing that it is similar to legislation enacted across the EU
In Business News this week: the budget deficit is significantly lower than predicted; the prime minister signals an end to state support for building savings; the euro could be adopted as late as 2019, says the governor of the central bank; almost half the foreigners working in the Czech Republic would like to leave, citing trouble finding employment corresponding to their qualifications; and after years of growth, the number of mobile phone text messages sent on New Year’s Eve fell slightly.