In Business News this week: the economy slows down suggesting even bleaker outlooks; the Czech crown loses its lustre for investors; Czech banks lose billions in the Greek debt crisis; President Klaus vetoes a bill introducing criminal liability for corporations; firms increasingly introduce loyalty programmes to keep customers; and Czech Post will launch “great parcel revolution”.
A number of customers camped out at parking lots at Prague’s IKEA chain furniture stores in order to be among the first 500 to receive coupons on November 17th worth 2,000 crowns. The first lines reportedly began to form at around 10 pm on Wednesday, shortly after closing, with customers ready to weather cold conditions with blankets, mattresses and sleeping bags. The promise of advantageous coupons attracted thousands of visitors in the morning, wrote Mladá fronta Dnes. Police even monitored the store events in case visitors got out of hand but there were no incidents, a policewoman confirmed.
The percentage of entrepreneurs among those contributing to the national economy in the Czech Republic is the fifth highest in the EU, according to an analysis conducted by the Czech Statistical Office. That number reached 17% in the second quarter of 2011, with the vast majority of private businessmen consisting of entrepreneurs without employees. Only Greece, Italy, Poland and Romania have a higher share, with the latter two countries’ result heavily influenced by the high number of private agriculturalists.
The Czech police presidium has reported the sale of fictitious goods and services is the most common internet crime that they deal with. The number of incidents of online fraud has grown significantly in the last year, according to the head of the division for IT crime, primarily due to improvements in technology, such as mobile phones that allow web access, the growing number of services provided and the growing number of people connected. The police say that the economic situation also plays a role in the increase and that the number of attacks on sensitive data will continue to grow.
In the coming weeks, people in Prague will have a unique opportunity to sample traditional dishes and delicacies from South Korea – thanks to an event organized by the country’s embassy. At its launch in a Prague hotel, Radio Prague spoke to the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Czech Republic Gabriel OH and first asked him whether Czechs have many opportunities to try Korean food in restaurants or buy the necessary ingredients.
Rachel Kanarowski has the kind of job that must make her the absolute envy of her peers. At only 30, she is the editor-in-chief of the Czech version of InStyle, a major international women’s magazine. At the magazine’s offices, we discussed shopping in Prague and the Czech take on style. But first Kanarowski described the unlikely sounding way in which the opportunity to enter the business arose, and how she made the most of that chance.
In Business News: A Russian consortium is reportedly the most likely to win an upcoming tender on the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant; sources report an uptick in Russian FDI; Czech Railways announces the aim to sell off property worth 90 million crowns; the first Škoda Citigo – a new small vehicle intended for zipping in-and-out of city traffic –rolls off the assembly line; and, the transport minister proposes a new fee for vanity licence plates.
The lower house of Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill introducing criminal liability of firms, which would enable courts to fine them, seize their property or even abolish them for serious offences. Under the amendment the chamber of deputies extended the list of crimes for which business entities can be punished to around 80. The government proposed bill will still need to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president.
Police in Ústí nad labem, North Bohemia, are investigating the death of 45-year-old businessman Jiří Čaník, a witness in a case of suspected corruption who was found dead in his home in July, as suicide, Mf Dnes has reported. According to the police, Mr Čaník shot himself in the head; the firearm was his own and was legally-held. A paper trail for millions of crowns, which had been intended for the repair of military barracks, pointed to the late businessman after the company in the original tender declared bankruptcy and some 53 million in state funds went missing. Mr Čaník’s partner has told the local media that they had no money before his death, saying that she had had to borrow from others.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur