In today's Business News: The Czech National Bank cut interest rates by half a point to 2.25 percent this week; Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has warned against excessive regulation and government intervention during the current global economic crisis; car maker Škoda Auto will halt car production on Friday evening for three weeks; the Tatra company, famous for building trucks and other large vehicles is to begin a series of phased layoffs totalling 1,400 people by the end of next year; the soft-drink company Kofola, maker of a cola drink of the same name, has received a 12 million crown fine from the country’s anti-monopoly commission and the Czech government has approved a programme which binds it to replacing government cars with more eco-friendly models.
Czech National Bank cuts interest rates
Czech Prime Minister says financial crisis not a failure of capitalism
Škoda manufacturing halt begins
Tatra to lay off 1,400 staff
The Tatra company, famous for building trucks and other large vehicles is to begin a series of phased layoffs totalling 1,400 people by the end of next year. The company, based in Kopřivnice, north-east of the country was founded in 1850, and at that point made regular automobiles, and later trams, only specializing in trucks later on. Following the end of communism in 1989, the company was privatized, first sold to US stakeholders, then later bought back by Czech stakeholders. The company has been relatively successful in the eastern European market, exporting as far afield as Russia. The newly announced layoffs have been blamed on the global economic crisis.
Kofola fined again by anti-monopoly commission
Czech state to by eco-friendly cars
The Czech government has approved a programme which binds it to replacing government cars with more eco-friendly models. By 2014, the entire sate administration should have completed the switch, according to Environment Ministry head Martin Bursík. The Czech state administration uses about 20,000 cars at present, and speaking about the decision, Mr Bursík highlighted that automobile pollution was the third biggest generators of air pollution and greenhouse gases after industry and energy-producers. He also added that the decision would help to promote a Czech-wide interest in more efficient and environmentally friendly cars.