In this week's Business News: Czech Airlines to shakeup its flights for the winter season; Komerční Banka reports an increase in profits; household earnings fall for first time since 1993; the country's anti monopoly authority upholds a fine against a local water company; the Czech National Bank revises its economic forecast and the ČNB also keeps interest rates at 0.5%
The net monthly income of Czech households last year dropped for the first time since 1993, according to data released by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. The net monthly income fell to 12.000 crowns i.e. 146 crowns less than in 2010. Until last year, the net income of Czech households had been growing annually despite the economic crisis. In real terms, the income of Czech employee households decreased as well, amounting to about 97 percent of the figure for 2010. It was, however, about 29 percent higher than before the fall of the Communist regime in November 1989.
The website of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions was reportedly hit by a hacking attack at noon on Wednesday. According to specialists analysing the event, the attack stemmed from an IP address connected to the Czech Ministry of Labour. The website, called obboryplus, which reportedly has around 3000 online members, registered thousands attacks at around noon, resulting in a loss of service for around fifteen minutes. The technical analyst firm analysing the events has said that such an attack was very likely coordinated. The Ministry of Labour has responded by stating that such allegations have yet to be substantiated, but that if proven, it will investigate the incident.
The Czech NGO IQ Roma servis has just launched a new campaign aimed at tackling prejudices against the minority ingrained in parts of Czech society. Making use of snappy headlines in its ads, as well as a video clip showing Roma ‘invisible’ in society unless they are performing music (another stereotype), the NGO hopes to shake up the status quo.
Czech NGO IQ Roma Servis on Tuesday announced the start of a new campaign aimed at fighting prejudices against Romanies. The campaign lampoons some of the anti-Romany stereotypes rooted in the Czech society, and cleverly plays with the fact that Czechs might perceive some words differently in a Romany-related context. The campaign which also targets Czech employers, will be launched on Wednesday.
Interior Minister Jan Kubice plans to save half a billion crowns on policemen’s wages next year. The plan will reportedly be made next month in a proposal to the government on changes to organisation and the number of police officers. According to a comparative analysis that the ministry released on Wednesday, the Czech Republic leads Eastern European countries in numbers of officers and there are more officers handling the same workload compared with neighbouring countries. Mr Kubice indicated that the reorganisation of the force would primarily involve higher managerial positions with higher salaries.
The Czech Senate on Friday rejected a bill aimed at promoting foster care and reducing the number of children in institutional care. The draft legislation, prepared by the government, would professionalize foster parenting and increase foster parents’ salaries. However, some senators warned the bill could destroy the current system of institutional care and commercialize foster parenting. The bill will in September return to the Lower House which can overturn the Senate veto.
The labour and social affairs ministry wants to train hundreds of care-givers. The ministry which needs to address the problem of an aging population and a lack of social workers, says it wants to train hundreds of people –mainly women between 45 and 55 years of age – who are already working as care givers for close family and elderly relatives. These people would receive special training and could join the ranks of professional care givers once they are ready to go back to work, a ministry spokeswoman told the ctk news agency.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell slightly in June, down 0.1 of a point to 8.1%. Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said Wednesday that employment offices had registered 7.5 thousand less job seekers compared to the previous month, but the number of vacancies dropped by 2%. There were nearly 43,000 vacancies, which is more than 4,000 compared to the previous year but 886 less than in the preceding month. There were an average 11.1 job seekers per vacancy in June. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to stay unchanged at May´s 8.2 percent.
The latest forecast released by the Czech Banking Association expects the Czech economy to fall by 0.6 percent this year, while previously it had reckoned with stagnation. The reason behind the predicted drop is a slump in household consumption, a drop in incomes and high unemployment. The CBA also revised down its economic development outlook for 2013 predicting a 1 percent economic growth compared to the 2 percent increase it forecast in April.
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