A full 58 percent of Czechs say they have trouble making ends meet on their present income, according to a survey conducted by the CVVM polling agency. 94 percent of respondents said they had no problem meeting basic needs such as food and clothing but only 58 percent said they were able to finance their hobbies and meet unexpected expenses. 38 percent of respondents said their income allowed them to shop for healthier foods and 36 percent said they were able to save some money every month. Only 8 percent of respondents said they would describe themselves as rich while 34 percent said they considered themselves to be poor.
The annual profits of the state-owned Czech power giant ČEZ in the first three quarters of 2014 dropped by 38 percent to 19.6 billion crowns. The company’s turnover has dropped by nine percent to 147 billion year-on-year. According ČEZ, the downfall is caused mainly by the decreasing electricity prices and a mild winter, which depressed demands for electricity and heat.
More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Czech government to hold a referendum on euro adoption. The petition, organized by the opposition Civic Democrats, will now be debated in the Senate. But it’s unlikely it will bring about a change of mind in the government coalition which believes the country should adopt the euro by the year 2020.
For many unemployed people in the Czech Republic, getting a job is not an option. A new study by the government Agency for Social Inclusion found that accepting a low-paying job in some cases lowers the overall income of the family. That’s why many people on welfare feel little motivation to get a job. I spoke to the agency’s Alena Zieglerová.
Forty-thousand people have signed a petition organised by the Civic Democrats calling for a referendum on whether the Czech Republic should adopt the common European currency. The leader of the right-wing opposition party, Petr Fiala, said on Tuesday that repeated opinion polls had suggested two-thirds of the population were opposed to bringing in the euro. The first deputy leader of the Civic Democrats, Jan Zahradil, said the petition represented a call on the Czech government to negotiate an exception under which the country would not have to adopt the currency.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic dropped by 0.2 percentage point month-on-month to 7.1 percent in October, the Labour Office said on Monday. The situation on the labour market is influenced by the economic revival and ongoing seasonal work in gastronomy, construction, tourism and agriculture. In the coming months, unemployment is expected to stagnate or grow moderately with the gradual decrease in seasonal work and the ending of fixed-term work contracts, the Labour Office said.
In Business: Czech financial institutions revise down their economic growth forecasts for this year, the government favours nuclear and coal power in its long-term energy plan, the forex interventions launched by the Czech National Bank last year have attracted more foreign visitors to the Czech Republic and the largest Czech hotel – Hilton Prague - has been put up for sale.
The forex interventions launched by the Czech National Bank last year, in order to weaken the crown, have brought a higher number of tourists to the Czech Republic. In the first two quarters of 2014 the number of tourists from neighbouring countries rose on average from 6 to 10 percent, with the highest number of visitors from Austria and Slovakia. However the interventions negatively affected the profit margins of travel agencies.
A third of ski hills in the Czech Republic will modestly boost prices this winter season, news website iDnes reported on Tuesday, citing the Association of Czech Ski Resorts (AHS). The price will go up on average by 11 crowns for a children’s daily ski pass, the highest increase. Ski hills have invested hundreds of millions of crowns in snow making equipment as well as to broaden existing runs. Above all, operators will be hoping for decent conditions and not a mild winter like the season last.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery