Another long-term drought could cost the Czech economy up to 80 billion crowns, equivalent to a drop of 1.6 percentage points in GDP, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Life Sciences warn that in order to conserve water for essential use, key industries would be forced to cut production, adding an exponential ripple effect to the surface-level economic impact.
Following a largescale operation in close to 60 sites across the Czech
Republic on Tuesday, the police have now charged 23 suspects with tax
evasion and organised crime, the Czech News Agency reports. All except two
of the suspects are currently being held in custody.
Members of the elite National Centre for Combating Organised Crime cooperated with the Czech Customs Administration and ordinary police units in the crackdown, which is connected to suspicions of tax dodging worth hundreds of millions of crowns.
The suspects could face more than 10 years in jail if their connection to organised crime is confirmed.
New research by scientists from the Water, Soil and Landscape Centre at the
Czech University of Life Sciences suggests that another long-term spell of
drought would result in an CZK 80 billion contraction of the Czech economy.
Aside from financial effects, drought would also have an impact on
population health and the environment. At a press conference on Wednesday
the team suggested spending CZK 25 billion annually on preventative
Researchers presented two scenarios of how the economy could be impacted by further droughts.
One scenario envisions a 25 percent decrease in the productivity of industries, such as textile or paper production, which are dependent on water supplies. In this case the economy would face a production capability decline between 0.9 to 1.6 percent of GDP.
The second scenario, counts on a 50 percent decrease that would cut production down by 2.8 to 4.8 percent of GDP.
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.
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