Will Prague Ever Host the Olympics? (Bude někdy Praha hostit olympijské hry?)

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More than six years ago Pavel Bem, the mayor of Prague, informed the public of his intention to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Even the former mayor of Prague, Jak Kasl, supported this idea when he signed a contract with the Czech Olympic Committee. Two years later Pavel Bem stated that this idea became a serious plan. As he stated, “Prague would become a special location to organize such an event that would bring lots of attention to the city,” but would it actually be able to host such an event? Today we don’t have to think about this question since the event organizers withdrew their plan due to the current economic crisis. Nevertheless, the Olympic candidacy has already cost the city about 70 million crowns. Was it a smart idea to withdraw or not? Continue reading

Vaclav Klaus – A Troublemaker? (Václav Klaus – Buřič?)

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Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic is well known for his disapproval of the Czech Republic joining the European Union. He is also known for his disbelief of global warming. Recently, he visited the United States to speak about global warming and climate change. He was supposed to meet with Al Gore, the chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, but while Gore spoke at The Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara, California, Klaus was on the plane to the USA. Was it on purpose to avoid them clashing with each other?

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Slovaks Are Saying Goodbye to Their Currency (Slováci Se Loučí s Jejich Měnou)

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Euros (www.moneymatterstome.co.uk)

The year 2009 is not only very significant for the Czech Republic but also for Slovakia. The Czech government took over the EU presidency for the next six months, while Slovakia became the 16th member of the euro zone. Both of the countries separately joined the European Union in 2004. Slovaks are proud of the switch to the euro currency and see this change as a source of their pride and future economic growth. When will the Czechs switch to euro currency then?

The Czech leadership will be tested for the next six months as it assumes the European Union presidency. The country will face lots of important issues such as the worst economic meltdown in Europe, a dispute with Russia, and the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Continue reading

Bohemian Glass No More? (Ceske Sklo Nikdy Vice?)

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How many of you have heard that Czech glass is one of the best products in the world? If you answered yes to this question, then we hope you keep some of it in your homes. A recent ruling by a municipal court in Prague declared bankruptcy proceedings on Sklo Bohemia, one of the largest Czech glass companies. There will be no more Bohemian glass produced in the future by this company. The Czech glass industry is now in crisis and Sklo Bohemia is likely just the beginning of a glass production cease. Sklo Bohemia creditors decided that the company will be sold in parts but there is a chance that the company can be bought by somebody, who could then not only save many jobs in the town, but also the long-known Czech tradition and pride of the country.

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Czech Hotels Don’t Attract Foreign Tourists Anymore (Ceske Hotely Jiz Nelakaji Zahranicni Turisty)

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Many of you may already know that the Czech Republic is overcrowded by tourists. Our visit to Prague last Christmas definitely confirmed this. All squares and main streets were congested by tourists from around the world. During this year, the number of tourists increased further, but according to Czech statistical offices, the number of nights spent in Czech hotels has decreased, as well as interest in Czech hotels. Could it be due to a bad economic situation in the world?

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Slovak Government Creates Protective Measures against World’s Financial Crisis (Slovensko Vytvari Ochranne Meritka proti Svetove Financni Krizi)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

 

Less than a month ago Jan Pociatek, Slovakia’s Finance Minister, stated that the Slovakian financial sector mostly invested in the domestic economy and not risky mortgage markets. Based on this statement, loses on these markets would have only a small effect on their financial market.

 

In addition, the Slovak government wanted to assure the public that there was no financial crisis threat and recently also approved a legislative proposal to protect money deposits in Slovak banks to a full 100 percent instead of the original 90 percent — up to ~600,000 Sk (~$27,000). The Slovak parliament must approve this initiative later this month.

 

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Prague Stock Exchange Down Again (Ceska Burza Cennych Papiru Znovu Klesla)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

Not even a month ago we talked about the Prague Stock Exchange mentioning its loss of 4.92 percent. Today the situation even worsened creating a new record loss of 8.46 percent. This has been the biggest fall in one day since 1993. The PX index fell to the lowest level (1,102.9 points) in the last three years, generating the overall decrease of 41.38 percent in one year.

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Green Cards in the Czech Republic (Zelené Karty v České Republice)

Clanek v CESTINE dole.

On Friday, Sept 19th 2008, the Czech Senate approved a bill amendment that would make it easier to attract qualified staff from abroad to the Czech Republic. This movement is expected to bolster the Czech Republic’s supply of skilled workers from outside the European Union. If the amendment is signed by the president, the first green cards could be issued in January 2009. People’s reactions vary, though. Will this movement do any harm to the Czech nation?

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Will Brno Become the Next Biotech Hub in the EU? (Bude Brno Budouci Stred Biotechnologie?)

As stated by the Washington Post, Brno will be a new center of biotechnology industry in the near future. The Czech Republic is attempting to compete with long-established biotech hubs in California and Asia. As Roman Onderka, Brno’s mayor, said, “Brno will connect industry, education and infrastructure to create a suitable environment for biotechnology companies.”

 

So far, there are 60 biotechnology companies in the Czech Republic located near Prague and Brno. Brno is the country’s second biggest city and it is currently partnering with Mayo Clinic, a research center for treating rare medical cases. The chief macroeconomic strategist at CSOB bank, Tomas Sedlacek, stated that this city will probably play a strong role in medicine and research and it may become the “hospital of Europe.”

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Czechs Work the Hardest (Cesi Jsou Nejupracovanejsi)

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions reports that most of new members of EU, including Czech Republic, work much longer for less vacation.

 

Based on the report, Bulgarian, Romanian and Czech workers spend at work over 40 hours a week, while average working hours in France, Italy and Denmark are less than 40 per week. Unfortunately, paid holidays don’t reflect the overtime in countries such as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia and Romania. Their average paid time off is about 21.9 days per year. Conversely, Sweden workers get 33 days of vacation per year, Norway 26.7 days, and Greece 23 days, increasing the EU average of 25.2 days per year.

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Czech vs. US Stock Exchange (Burza Cennych Papiru v Ceske Republice versus USA)

As you know the US stock market is not doing very well nowadays, but the situation is very similar in the Czech Republic. Today, the shares on the Prague Stock Exchange (BCPP) fell to the lowest closing level since mid-July 2006. Just in one day, the PX index lost 4.92 percent and in one year 24.78 percent. The reasons for this decline are loses on advanced foreign stock markets and falling prices of commodities. Many foreign funds and banks are selling their assets. Moreover, new investors are not interested in putting their money in real estate market and commodities. The Czech Republic is now involved in global market, thus, its economy will be likely affected to a similar extent that is visible in the United States.

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