In business news this week: prime minister Mirek Topolanek rules out euro adoption by 2010, plans to sell off Prague Airport, the interior ministry says it wants a strategic partner for the Czech postal service, a consultancy firm predicts a rise in Czech bankruptcies, Mittal Steel Ostrava announces 3,500 reduncancies, Microsoft Czech Republic pledges to double sales, and Lego opens a new distribution centre on the outskirts of Prague.
A Japanese LCD screen joint venture between Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba announced on Monday that it had started construction of a 92-million-euro (116-million-dollar) plant in the Czech Republic, AFP reports. Production at the new plant, at Zatec in northwestern Bohemia, is expected to start in 2007 and create jobs for 2,000 people.
In this week's Business News: a senior CNB official says next year's budget will be the worst and most dangerous in years; the Czech Republic faces a huge payout to a Japanese bank after losing an arbitration appeal: spending on employment policy in this country is among the lowest in the EU; a power industry figure calls for a quick decision on the building of a new nuclear power station; and the country's biggest lottery and betting company is 50 on Friday.
In Business News this week: the foreign trade gap in July is higher than analysts had expected; the Czech Republic falls eight places to 45th in the rankings in the annual Economic Freedom of the World report; the future of digital television in the Czech Republic is uncertain, after a court cancels the award of digital TV broadcasting licences to six channels; Skoda creates a rugged, off-road version of its popular Octavia model, the Octavia Scout; and there are three Czechs among the 100 wealthiest people in the former Eastern Bloc.
On Monday, Czech schoolchildren will return to their classrooms after two months, among them some 93,000 first graders. In recent weeks, we've seen some serious back-to-school preparations. The contents of shop windows changed from swimsuits and inflated toys to schoolbags, pencils and the like. Also, reports on television have been showing how much all the school supplies are costing parents this year.
In Business News: average monthly wages grow by 6.9 percent - 3.9 percent in real terms; the government approves a steep rise in excise duty on tobacco products; tens of thousands of Ukrainian workers are taking the opportunity to legalise their status and escape the influence of criminal middlemen, says the country's ambassador; sales of downloads slow a continuing fall in overall music sales; the BBC changes its licence and gets to stay on the Czech airwaves; and Eurotel is now operating under the name O2.
In Business News: the public finance gap will again exceed euro adoption criteria next year - the outgoing finance minister says that will not impact plans to adopt the currency in 2010; leasing offices and commercial spaces is more profitable in Prague than almost every other capital in Europe; the Czech crown reaches an all-time high against the dollar; and the country is experiencing a boom in the construction of wind power stations.
In Business News this week: the Czech crown reaches a record high against the Euro; the Euro is accepted by half the country's chain stores; RWE Transgas is hit by the biggest fine ever levied by the Czech anti-monopoly authority; home starts grow by 14.2 percent; the world's biggest glass maker is opening a new plant in Teplice; and a family-owned car maker unveils its new model.
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