The country’s ambassadors around the world should be proud of the Czech Republic and talk up its achievements. That was the message from Andrej Babiš to Czech diplomats currently gathered in Prague. The prime minister also emphasised the importance of the Visegrad Four and repeated his opposition to euro adoption in a broad-ranging speech.
Overall confidence in the Czech economy rose slightly to 95.6 in August
from 95.1 in July, according to the Czech Statistical Office.
Among Entrepreneurs, confidence increased by 0.8 points to 93.6 points, the lowest level in five years for the month of July.
Consumer confidence fell to 105.1 points in August from 106.4 the previous month, thus returning to levels recorded in May and June.
In annual terms, both consumer and business confidence is lower than in August 2018
Twenty-four people are now reported to have been charged in a massive tax
evasion scam involving 270 million crowns, according to a spokesperson for
the National Centre for Combating Organised Crime.
The charges against seven foreign nationals and 17 Czechs who operated fictitious companies came following a largescale operation in close to 60 sites across the Czech Republic. All except two of the suspects are currently being held in custody.
The several–month-long operation involved over 400 police and customs officers both at home and abroad. In simultaneous raids on homes and offices the police secured assets worth 68 million crowns and a number of illegally held weapons.
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.
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