The European Commission has confirmed a slowdown in Czech economic growth.
The Commission’s newly released macro-economic forecast sees GDP growth
falling to 3 percent this year. In 2017 Czech economic growth stood at 4.3
The growth is expected to be driven mainly by growing domestic demand. According to the prognosis, Czech GDP should be at around 2.9 percent in 2019 and 2.6 percent in 2020.
Cobra, a special unit set up for combatting financial crime, has charged
five people with large-scale tax evasion connected to diesel and gas
transactions made between 2010 and 2012, the ctk news agency reports.
The unit is also reported to be filing charges against an unspecified number of tax office employees, who allegedly helped to cover up the scam. The damage is estimated at over 300 million crowns.
The tax office employees are being charged with abuse of office for which they could face up to 12 years in jail.
Labour offices in the Czech Republic have provided immediate, extraordinary
assistance to around 1160 socially deprived tenants since 2016, according
to the annual report issued by the government Agency for Social Inclusion,
which is set to be debated by the government on Wednesday.
The immediate support is designated for tenants living in lodging houses to pay first and last month's rents in their new housing. Around 560 applications have been turned down by the labour offices.
The government Agency for Social Inclusion was established in 2008 to assist local authorities to resolve housing problems and creating a liaison between people living in social exclusion and labour offices, schools and the police and currently works in 60 municipalities with over 230 socially excluded localities.
The number of long-term unemployed in the Czech Republic continues to drop,
according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday.
The number of Czechs who have been unemployed for more than a year has dropped over the past year to 29.9 percent (of the total number of unemployed). Last year, that figure stood at 37.5 percent.
In September, labour offices around the country registered 67,093 people who have been unemployed for more than twelve months. The total number of unemployed dropped to three percent in September, which is the lowest figure for that month since 1996.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has confirmed that the government may put off a decision on how to fund new nuclear reactors for the power utility ČEZ by extending the lifespan of the Dukovany power plant by ten years. The news has brought a cautious response from ČEZ and criticism from the opposition benches.
The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday approved the 2019 draft budget in its first reading. The basic parameters of the budget, such as the deficit goal, are thus definitively set with only minor shifts in funds possible. Government spending next year should prioritize the social sphere, investments, an increase in public sector salaries and pensions.
One of the worst droughts in recent Czech history is still tormenting farmers, with rainfalls in October measured at just a fifth of the monthly average. The total cost of damages to Czech agriculture and forestry has been estimated to lie at around CZK 24 billion so far and some farmers say the government is not doing enough about it.
Estimated losses from the summer drought this year have topped CZK 24 billion, the website idnes.cz has reported. According to experts, 2018 will be the driest year on record, outdoing 2015, which has been the driest so far. Rainfall levels in October have so far been five times lower than the average. Prices of potatoes, beer and carp are expected to rise due to the drought.
The average mortgage interest rate rose in September to 2.57 percent from
2.53 percent in August, according to Fincentrum Hypoindex.
Despite higher rates, the number of applicants surged as people sought to get mortgages before tougher lending guidelines came into effect on October 1.
Under the new guidelines set by the Czech National Bank, a borrower should not be eligible for a loan greater than nine times their annual net income or have to spend over 45 percent of their monthly net income to service the debt.
A number of companies are in the running for lucrative contracts to build new nuclear units in the Czech Republic. Now the head of the State Office for Nuclear Safety says that a South Korean firm looks best placed to get the job. Dana Drábová says KHNP currently has the best references in regards to finishing construction on time and on budget.
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