Books on Czech Republic
% of GDP
Update No: 105 - (30/01/06)
In 1992 Bill Clinton campaigned on the need for change. It seemed a vacuous
slogan at the time. But he won and proved a winner again in 1996.
Change is the order of the day in the Czech Republic too. Many adults in the
Czech Republic believe a different party should be in charge of the national
administration, according to a poll published in Mlada fronta Dnes. 69 per cent
of respondents believe a change in government is necessary.
The Czechs have been ringing the changes for some time now, as it so happens. In
July 2004, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla resigned from his post following a
poor showing from the governing Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) in the
elections to the European Parliament. Social Democratic interim leader Stanislav
Gross took over, but resigned earlier last year following allegations regarding
the origin of funds borrowed to buy an apartment in Prague six years ago. CSSD
vice-chairman Jiri Paroubek-who served as regional development minister-formed a
new coalition administration in April 2005.
The next election to the Chamber of Representatives is tentatively scheduled for
June this year, two months after elections in Hungary. In the June 2002 ballot,
the CSSD elected 70 lawmakers to the 200-member Chamber of Representatives.
Recent voting intention polls put the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of
Mirek Topolanek as the most popular party in the European nation.
President Vaclav Klaus - a member of the ODS - maintains a high level of public
support. Only 27 per cent of respondents believe it is time to change the head
of state. Klaus was elected to a five-year term by the Parliament in 2003.
The form of the change - the Civic Democrats
The 'Third Way' of Tony Blair seems to be fizzling out in the UK, with the
Conservatives bounding back in the polls after the election of their new leader,
David Cameron, and the eclipse of the Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy.
But in the Czech Republic it is still making headway.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Mirek Topolanek is still the top political
organization in the Czech Republic, according to a poll by STEM. 31 per cent of
respondents would vote for the ODS in the coming election to the Chamber of
The governing Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) is second with 25.9 per cent,
followed by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) with 14.2 per
cent, and the Christian and Democratic Union - Czech People's Party (KDU-CSL)
with 6.6 per cent.
Support is lower for the Green Party (SZ), the Freedom Union - Democratic Union
(US-DEU), the Political Movement Independents (NEZ), the Association of
Independents (SNK), Democratic Europe (ED) and the Independent Democrats
On Dec. 16, the Chamber of Representatives voted 87-54 with seven abstentions to
approve a law that legalizes same-sex civil unions in the Czech republic. Many
KSCM members supported the legislation proposed by the CSSD government. In order
to become official, the measure must be passed by the Senate and endorsed by
president Vaclav Klaus-a member of the ODS.
Hyundai Chooses Czech Republic for investment
South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai has chosen the Czech Republic to
invest US$1.2 billion instead of Turkey as a base for a new factory, New Europe
Hyundai Motors Company Vice-Chairman, Dong-Jin Kim, has sent a letter to Turkish
Minister of Industry and Trade, Ali Coskun, stating that they have decided to
invest in a KIA factory located in the Czech Republic. Kim also thanked Coskun
for the efforts made by Turkey to attract Hyundai investment. Hyundai, looking
for a suitable land for its factory that will employ 3,000 people directly and
9,000 people indirectly with its supplier factories, preferred the Czech
Republic as result of the offers made.
CSOB posts preliminary net profit of 8.4bn
CSOB Czech's largest bank posts preliminary net profit of 8.4 billion crowns
last year, up from 6.8 billion crowns in 2004, the bank said that the figures
are unaudited and unconsolidated, to international accounting standards. CSOB
did not comment on the preliminary unconsolidated figures. The results for the
entire CSOB group were to be announced on March 21st. Gross profit stood at 10.6
billion crowns, and total assets grew from 613.3 billion crowns to 620 billion
crowns. Capital adequacy fell to 10.80 per cent from 12.11 per cent in 2004.
Return on capital rose to 28.18 per cent from 15 per cent the previous year.
Interest revenue totalled 19.442 billion crowns and revenue from fees and
commissions almost seven billion crowns, New Europe reported.
S&P confirms BBB rating for Ceska pojistovna
Standard & Poor's International ratings agency has confirmed insurer Ceska
pojistovna's credit rating at BBB with stable outlook CP spokesman, Vaclav Balek,
said, CTK reported on January 31st.
Ceska pojistovna is the largest domestic insurer with a market share of 37 per
cent. It has share capital of three billion Czech crowns and manages over 13
million insurance policies. PPF Group is its only shareholder. The rating is
also supported by the insurer's strong market position thanks to the large
network of outlets including those of other members of PPF group, said Balek.
The stable outlook reflects the expected further improvement of quality of CP's
capital equipment, according to S&P.
FOOD & DRINK
Czech beer exports increase in 2005
Czech beer export figures are growing by the year but domestic consumption
remains the same. Last year the volume of exported Czech beer reached a record
three million hectolitres, New Europe reported.
Radio Prague spoke to the chairman of the Czech Brewing Association, Jan Vesely,
about the trends in Czech beer exports. "Exports have been growing in
recent years. Our annual indexes are 125 per cent, year on year, so it's
constantly increasing. I would not say that it's just because of large or
well-known brands. In the Czech Republic now, with the exception of only three
breweries, all breweries - that means over 50 - are exporting. So practically
everyone is exporting. And - in relative figures - small breweries are most
successful. Some of them export more than 50 per cent of their output," he
Trade and investment between Czech-India
US$ one billion trade and investment is planned between Czech Republic and India
to develop their relationship and strengthen bilateral trade in future, said
Jiri Paroubek, the prime minister of Czech Republic, New Europe reported.
Paroubek, addressing a plenary session at CII Partnership Summit, said though
the present trade between the two countries amounts only to US$0.5 million,
trade and investment are the key factors to increase this figure to US$ one
billion. Czech Republic is one of the most modern and liberal industrial
countries, where high external trade and industrial productivity drive its
economy, Paroubek told the CII members.
Eurotel clients increased by 282,000
Last year Czech mobile operator's Eurotel clients increased by 282,000 to 4.68m
and after six months it regained its leading position on the market, spokesman
Pavel Laidl said on January 31st. Eurotel is 100 per cent owned by dominant
fixed-line operator Cesky Telecom, a unit of Spanish group Telefonica since
mid-2005. Over the last three months of 2005, Eurotel got 187,000 new customers,
Oskar nearly 104,000 and T-Mobile 81,000 clients, New Europe reported.