In this week's Business News: new inflation and industrial production figures are released; the Czech postal service wins top marks in global efficacy test; unemployment climbs to 8.3%; Finance Ministry seeks to name and shame VAT avoiders; two supermarket chains fined hundreds of thousands for poor practices and foreign bidders seek D1 motorway contract.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic grew to 8.3% in July from 8.1% in June. The number of job seekers rose by just over 11,000 to nearly half a million. According to fresh statistics from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the lowest rate of unemployment was in Prague at 3.3% followed by Mlada Boleslav and Plzen; the highest was in the region of Bruntal in Northern Moravia, where there were 42 job seekers per open position last month. Unemployment benefits were granted to 18.9% of the unemployed.
Senators for the opposition Social Democratic Party will lodge a complaint with the Czech Constitutional Court if the average pension drops below 40 percent of the gross salary, the Speaker of the Senate Milan Štech told journalists on Tuesday. Senator Štech said the complaint would be based on the argument that the Czech Republic has ratified an international convention under which old-age pensions should reach at least two-fifths of gross earnings. The upper house is to debate a government bill that will reduce the growth of pensions as part of a broader austerity package.
Only around one third of Czechs leave work behind while on vacation, according to a new survey by the website onlineprace.cz released on Monday. Some 40 percent of those polled said they were available for their colleagues in emergency situations while on holiday; 16 percent said they wanted to follow developments at work no matter what.
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.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott