The Cabinet unanimously approved the new 2005 state budget proposal this week, which projects a deficit of nearly 84 billion crowns. Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that the state's projected level of spending for 2005 is only 2.5 billion crowns more than allowed under the approved EU convergence plan. Mr Sobotka said Brussels was unlikely to raise concern about the overrun.
Justice Minister Pavel Nemec is planning a comprehensive review of past bankruptcies. Over the next two years, the ministry expects to uncover several hundred "rigged bankruptcies," he said. The Justice Ministry will begin examining cases in Brno, Hradec Kralove and Plzen, where several high-profile cases are already under criminal investigation.
The TPCA (Toyota) car plant in Kolin, located about 45 minutes east of Prague, has only been able to recruit 1,000 of the 3,000 workers it needs to run at full production, which is due to begin in six months. Plant officials said the there aren't enough suitable workers in the region and that getting people to relocate difficult, because rent have risen to Prague levels.
Sales of Czech glass in the United States could be brought to a halt if the U.S. decides to impose higher import duties on certain products from European Union member states, due to failure of Brussels and Washington to reach an accord. Czech glass makers producing exclusively for the U.S. market face financial ruin, the daily Pravo reported.
More than 3.5 million foreigners visited the Czech Republic in the first half of this year, the greatest number in a decade. Foreign tourists and people here on business spent an estimated 54 billion crowns during their stays, a 12 percent increase from the same time last year.
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