The Czech Ministry of Culture needs to be more uniform and transparent in
how it dispenses grants and funds activities in the sector, the Supreme
Audit Office (NKÚ) says in its latest report.
The report analysed the distribution of over 500-600 million crowns allocated by the ministry in the years 2016 to 2018. It found there was no effective digital system in place to both centralise and track the flow of money.
The NKÚ also noted that nine different sections within the ministry allocated subsidies, each having their own regulations.
The result is a fragmented, overly complex system whereby, for example, an entity seeking support for a dance and theatre festival must submit two markedly different applications.
The ministers of finance and education agreed Monday on a draft budget for
the education sector of 213 billion crowns in 2020, roughly 8 percent more
than this year. That includes an extra1 billion crowns earmarked mainly to
recruit new teachers.
Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) said more teachers will be needed in the coming years due to higher birth rates earlier in this decade.
The draft budget counts on raising teachers’ salaries by 10 percent next year and by 9 percent in 2021, in line with the government’s pledge to raise salaries in the education sector to 150 percent of 2017 levels.
Around 20 percent of new apartments in Prague are bought by foreigners,
according to developers addressed by the Czech News Agency. The level of
purchases by non-Czech nationals is around the same as last year, they
Slovaks are the most frequent foreign buyers of Prague properties, followed by people from Western Europe and post-Soviet states.
Foreigners display the greatest interest in small flats, frequently in upscale projects, the developers said.
Charging stations for electric cars around the Czech Republic are reporting a sharp increase in electricity intake, Czech Radio reported on Friday. The Czech state-owned energy producer ČEZ, which currently controls around half of the charging stations, says consumption of electricity in the first six months of 2019 has nearly doubled year-on-year, reaching 828 869 kWh. Other companies are reporting similar growth.
Despite being in his early 30s, Martin Mucha is already a successful Czech businessman in New York. Many locals may know Igluu, the real estate website he co-founded which claims to be the largest source of verified home listings in the Big Apple. Apart from looking into ways of expanding and innovating the company, Mr. Mucha also plays an active role among America’s Czech community. I recently had the chance to catch up with him and began by asking when he first decided to be an entrepreneur.
The parties of the coalition government are at odds over the draft budget for 2020. The Social Democrats, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, have demanded an additional 20 billion crowns for their ministries. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Wednesday ridiculed the demand, saying the Social Democrats have spending in their genes.
The market with prefabricated wooden houses in the Czech Republic is experiencing a major boom, the website ihned.cz reports. While ten years ago, there were around one thousand prefabricated wooden houses built in the country, last year it was nearly three thousand. “Over the past year, the demand has grown by one fifth,” Martin Fojtíko of the company Bidli, which specializes in low-energy wooden buildings, told the website.
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