At its meeting on Thursday, the Czech National Bank Board increased the
two-week repo rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%. At the same time, it
increased the Lombard rate by 25 basis points to 2.25% and the discount
rate by 20 basis points to 0.25%.
The new interest rate levels come into effect on 3 August 2018.
It is the third hike in interest rates since the end of the bank’s forex interventions against the crown. National Bank Governor Jiří Rusnok has not ruled out further increases this year.
Czech Radio will be at the center of a series of commemorative events
marking 50 years since the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Czech Radio is cooperating closely with the National Museum, the National Film Archive and the Institute for Study of Totalitarian Regimes to produce a video-mapping of the August events, including a 13-hour special starting late on August 20th which will follow the events of that night and the early hours of August 21st when Russian tanks rolled into the country to crush the democratic reforms of the Prague Spring movement.
Thirty Czech Radio reporters will be stationed at crucial sites around the country to recall the events of that dark chapter in the country’s history.
Czech stage and film actor Ilja Racek has died at the age of 88.
He was a long-time member of the ensemble of the Vinohrady Theatre in Prague where he spent close to twenty-five years and where he later appeared as a guest performer. He most recently worked on part 2 of the popular TV series Sanitka or Ambulance.
Racek was diagnosed with prostate cancer ten years ago and refused to undergo chemotherapy.
Pardubice Airport is back in operation after a plane landing at the airport
careened off the runway. No one was hurt in the accident.
According to Czech Radio the accident happened in the aftermath of a strong heat storm and the pilot had problems breaking on the wet runway. There were 120 passengers on board.
A scheduled evening flight from Pardubice to Heraklion was dispatched from Prague. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
Police have closed an investigation into the case of a publishing house
that sold T-shirts and mugs with the portrait of Hitler and Stalin.
Police spokesman Jan Daněk said the police was not filing charges since there was no evidence that the activity was other than profit-oriented.
The owner of the publishing house Naše Vojsko, which also sells mugs of Einstein, John. F. Kennedy and Charles IV, told the media he welcomed the outcome of the investigation, saying that the sale of T-shirts featuring Hitler and Stalin might be ethically borderline, but he had no intention of propagating Nazism and was doing it solely for profit.
Eight musicians and groups are set to compete in the inaugural edition of
the “Sound of Silent Movies” competition in Prague’s Žižkov
district, which starts on Thursday evening and runs through September 14th.
Audiences will select the winner, based on the best improvisions accompanying silent classics such as Modern Times with Charlie Chaplin and the original King Kong from 1933 starring Fay Wray, as well as Czech cartoons featuring the beloved ant Ferda Mravenec.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) wants a decision on financing majority
state-owned utility ČEZ’s nuclear power plant expansion by year’s end,
he told Reuters in an interview.
The Prague-listed company has refused to invest in new plants without some form of state support. Instead, it proposes spinning off its renewables and energy services, leaving coal and nuclear sources in state hands.
Babiš says ČEZ is big enough to build new nuclear units without being split up and wants a subsidiary to be the main vehicle to build new reactors. ČEZ operates plants in Dukovany and Temelín that together covered 38 per cent of Czech energy needs last year. Its Dukovany reactors start to expire around 2035.
According to a poll by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM), 49
per cent of Czechs see the economic situation as good, 36 per cent are
undecided, and 15 per cent see it as doing poorly.
A more detailed analysis of the poll shows a strong correlation between expressed optimism and the person’s assessment of their own standard of living, satisfaction with their own life or increasing satisfaction with the political situation.
The European Commission’s spring forecast predicted Czech GDP growth will slow to 3.4 per cent this year and to 3.1 per cent in 2019. Last year, Czech economic growth reached 4.4 per cent.
People in the Czech Republic worked an average of 41.1 hours per week last
year, according to a study by Raiffeisenbank, with entrepreneurs clocking
in about five hours more per week than employees.
In 2003, the average Czech worked a 42-hour week. Raiffeisenbank said the reduction stems from a campaign by trade unions launched last spring to reduce the standard hours to 37.5 per week.
Raiffeisenbank said any official reduction in the workweek would hurt the Czech economy rather than further reduce unemployment.