The Czech state budget deficit grew to 47.7 billion crowns in October from September´s 38.2 billion, according to a Finance Ministry report released on Friday. It is the best result for October since 2008. The state budget deficit for 2013 has been projected at 100 billion crowns but Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok said last month that thanks to money from EU funds, the budget gap this year could be much lower than projected.
Experts cited by the CTK news agency agree that a coalition between the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats and ANO would not bring about significant economic changes. They consider such a coalition as the only viable option and note that the direct or indirect participation of ANO in government would effectively prevent the Social Democrats from raising taxes. The three parties would also most likely commit to keeping the deficit in public finances below 3 percent of GDP, experts told the CTK news agency.
The head of the board of supervisors of the Czech state-owned energy firm ČEZ, Martin Roman, has resigned. He has also stepped down as member of the board. Mr Roman, who served as the utility’s CEO between 2004 and 2011, gave no specific reasons for his decision; according to media reports, however, the company’s former boss might want to avoid being held responsible for some of the firm’s controversial deals including the sale of one of the firm’s subsidiary, I&C Energo, and ČEZ’s role in the country’s solar boom relying on massive state subsidies. The position of the board of supervisors’ head will temporarily remain vacant, the Finance Ministry said.
In Business News: the 2013 state budget deficit may be substantially below target, business confidence in the Czech economy has increased, the Czech Central Bank governor has been voted Central Bank Governor of the Year for Emerging Europe 2013 and Canada’s decision to lift visas for Czechs is expected to renew airline connections and revitalize travel.
The person most likely to become the Czech Republic’s next finance minister has set off a debate about the country’s foreign policy priorities. Speaking at an economic forum, Jan Mládek of the Social Democrats said criticism of Russia and China could cost thousands of Czech jobs. Critics say human rights have to come before exports.
One of the front-runners in the upcoming Czech lower house elections is the newly-formed grouping ANO which polls suggest might take as much as 14 percent of the vote. Founded by the Slovak food magnate Andrej Babiš, the group only revealed its detailed policies rather late in the race. In this edition of Marketplace, I discuss ANO’s economic programme with Ivan Pilný, the party’s economic expert and former Microsoft CEO for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I began by asking him if he agreed with Andrej Babiš’ view that the Czech Republic needs
Trade unions in the country’s largest coal mining company OKD have gone on strike alert in protest against the conditions of a proposed collective agreement for 2014-2018. The proposed agreement was put forward by a government mediator after year-long negotiations between trade unions and employers failed to produce results. The head of trade unions at the Paskov mine, which is slated for closure next year, said the strike alert would remain in place until an agreement is reached.
In the last two months, the prices of potatoes in the Czech Republic have gone up by two-thirds and more, compared to the same period last year. According to a report released by the Czech Statistics Office on Monday, prices will remain high this year due to a record low harvest. The total potato harvest this season will be 20.2 percent less than last year’s, while compared to the 10-year average, it will most likely be a third lower. For the first time in Czech history (since 1993), the total harvest will be lower than 600 thousand tones. A Czech resident on average eats 70 kilograms of potatoes a year. Adverse weather conditions have also resulted in lower potato harvests in neighboring Poland and Germany.
In this week's Business News: the Czech national debt is down for first time since the 1990s; inflation levels continue a downward trend; the new Prague metro "D" line is approved; unemployment levels are up in September; Budvar declares victory over rival in Italy and former PM Vladimír Špidla says rosy Czech poverty data is misleading.
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