Once a fairly rare species in towns and cities, cyclists are increasingly common in the Czech Republic even in cities and hilly areas where the habitat is not so welcoming. Proposed changes in the law from the Ministry of Transport are now looking to give them higher priority with their own cycle roads in some city centres and help fill in the gaps between existing cycle routes.
In Business News this week: the Czech economy grew by four percent year-on-year in first quarter of 2015; E15: MAFRA shows interest in acquiring Slevomat; Car sales in the Czech Republic went up by five percent in the first six months of this year; Czech cinemas charge an average 129 crowns for a seat.
The Czech government has approved an amendment to the audiovisual law that would provide stable funding for Czech cinematography and make the country more competitive in attracting foreign crews. The annual state subsidies should enable Czech filmmakers to launch more ambitious projects and co-productions and make better use of the potential of the Czech film industry.
The financial sector in the Czech Republic is now more resilient to potential shocks, but revived credit demand, a fall in interest rates and a loosening of credit standards could pose a risk to financial stability in the future, says a report issued by the Czech National Bank on Tuesday. The Report on Financial Stability says that Czech banks are in good health, having increased their capital and liquidity reserves. The main risk for the financial sector remains a renewed recession causing a fall in profitability, the central bank said.
The village of Husinec in South Bohemia has a opened a newly reconstructed memorial to the 15th century religious reformer Jan Hus. The costs of the new visitor and research centre in what is believed to be Jan Hus' native house have reached 26 million crowns; more than 20 million were provided by the Czech government. A Catholic priest and later the rector of Prague’s Charles University, Hus became a key predecessor of the religious reformation movement that took off some hundred years after he was burned at the stake by the church in 1415. The Czech Republic this year marks 600 the years since his death. Saturday's opening was attended by PM Bohuslav Sobotka and culture minister Daniel Herman.
An annual competitiveness report compiled by the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, puts the Czech Republic 29th on a ladder of sixty-one countries. Its present ranking, four notches higher than last year, confirms a turnaround in the country’s performance which was first reflected in the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum last September.
After days of controversy the ruling coalition on Wednesday announced it had reached agreement on the thorniest aspect on the 2016 state budget – the gap in public spending. There is general agreement that next year’s budget deficit should not exceed 70 billion crowns, on the understanding that the government should seek ways to find extra money for increased social spending.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed that all public institutions should have to publish the details of contracts signed worth over 50,000 crowns, including still valid contracts signed in the past, the ctk news agency reports. The minister told the news agency he is pushing for greater transparency in public spending both at the national and regional level and will propose a draft amendment to that effect in April of this year. According to the proposal public institutions would have to make public certain in-voices as well.