With some 7,200 crowns a month of pension money in his pocket - less than $290 - the average Czech retiree now has proportionately less spending power in his golden years than the minimum level set by the International Labour Organisation. According to an ILO convention to which the Czech Republic became a signatory in 1993, the pension of a "typical recipient" should be higher than 45 per cent of the net salary of the average worker. To reach that ratio, the Czech Republic would have to put another 17 billion crowns into the pension system.
The government this week approved an outline of the state budget for next year, including revenues and expenditures of individual ministries but the ministers failed to reach agreement on the exact size of the deficit it will run next year. However, the budget gap will in any case not exceed 94 billion crowns.
Prague's international Ruzyne airport showed a record rise in the number of passengers, with more than 4.2 million people using the airfield in the first half of 2004. That amounts to a year-on-year increase in traffic of 36.2 per cent, a Czech Airports Authority spokeswoman told the CTK news agency.
The Czech Republic is in the running to host Austrian carmaker Magna Steyer's new 400 million euro plant, to be built next year. It would be the fourth-largest such investment here, according to the government agency CzechInvest. Magna Steyer, which makes low-volume cars for Volkswagen, BMW and DaimlerChrysler, is also considering Slovakia, Hungary and Romania for the site.
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