The Prague Stock Exchange has had quite an up and down week. Or rather down and up: while Tuesday saw record selling amounting to around half a billion dollars, on Thursday share prices grew by 7.3 percent, the biggest daily increase for over a decade. The Prague bourse has been responding to trends on international markets.
Tax on labour in the Czech Republic is among the highest in the developed world, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says in a new report. The OECD recommends a reduction in mandatory payments from wages, saying those revenues could be raised in other areas, such as environmental or property taxes. Individual income tax is 8.4 percent of income for those on an average salary in the Czech Republic; but when social insurance payment is added it amounts to the fourth highest rate in Europe.
Czech Airlines plans to focus on passenger transport in the future, and will offload other, unrelated activities, CSA's president Radomir Lasak said this week. CSA Cargo, Catering and Duty Free are all due for the chop. The company will also lay off staff: between 10 and 20 percent of its workers will be let go. The airline is expected to lose over 20 million dollars this year, slightly more than in 2005, though Mr Lasak said it should return to the black in 2008.
Prague's authorities have sold over 40 million dollars worth of city property since the start of 2006, substantially more than in previous years, Hospodarske noviny reported. A city councilor told the daily the rise was due to the sale of a valuable property near Old Town Square and a site near the National Theatre. Prague's total property is valued at over 30 billion dollars.
The Czech Republic needs more nuclear reactors, the head of the State Authority for Nuclear Safety, Dana Drabova, said at a conference this week. She believes only new nuclear technologies can meet growth in demand for energy in the decades to come. The official government forecast is that consumption from 2020 will be 50 percent higher than the current rate.
One of the Czech Republic's richest businessmen, Zdenek Bakala, is to invest in Respekt, a liberal weekly. Mr Bakala, who co-owns the coal giant OKD, said he had no intention of trying to influence its editorial content. Respekt is majority-owned by the aristocrat Karel Schwarzenberg; he and Mr Bakala have reportedly agreed to turn the weekly into a non-profit organisation.
If you've lived in the Czech Republic you will be familiar with slozenky, kind of reverse postal orders used to pay bills, mainly for utilities, at your local Posta. But from next month consumers will be able to pay slozenky in newsagents: the lottery company Sazka plans to use its network of terminals as alternative payment points. That should increase its profits, and cut queues at post offices.
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Gene Deitch, Part 1: The Oscar-winning US animator who made Tom and Jerry cartoons in communist Prague