In this week's business news; two mobile operators to provide TV reception from next year; the OECD says of all its members the Czech Republic relies the most on social insurance to fill the state coffers; Czech Airlines records a 22 percent rise in passengers, while Prague airport also sees an increase in numbers; and real estate prices are either stagnating or falling in the Czech Republic.
Mobile operators to offer television reception from next year
There was big news this week for the mobile phone-mad Czech Republic: both Cesky Telecom and T-Mobile will offer the reception of some of the country's television stations on handsets from next year. Telecom is to offer the music channel Ocko, while T-Mobile will work with Prima and Czech Television's 24 hour news service. In the beginning the services will be free, but Telecom said it would later charge 300 Czech crowns (around 12 US dollars). As for the actual phones that will be able to receive TV - they aren't on the market here yet.
OECD: Czech state relies most heavily on social insurance
Figures released by the OECD show that, of all its members, the Czech Republic relies the most on social insurance to fill the state coffers. A full 44 percent of government income comes from social insurance. Compare that to Denmark, for instance, which generated only 2.5 percent of its budget from that source in 2003, the year most recently surveyed. Some countries, like Australia and New Zealand, do not impose any social insurance at all.
Finance Ministry files charges against four companies over internet gambling
Czech Airlines records big increase in passenger numbers...
...while Prague airport aims for record 11 million passengers this year
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Prague's Ruzyne airport also recorded an increase in passengers cleared in the period in question, with a rise of 13.5 percent year-on-year. The airport expects to handle a total of 11 million passengers this year. That's a remarkable figure considering that in the whole of 1991 Ruzyne handled just a million and a half passengers. And, with the new North 2 Terminal due to be completed by the end of the year, it is set to keep growing for some time yet.
Real estate prices either stagnant or falling
Rent market also sluggish
Meanwhile, rents have also stagnated and have actually fallen in the case of prefabricated blocks of flats known as "panelaky". Renting in a panelak is 20 to 30 percent cheaper than what they call a "brick building" one agent told the Czech Press Agency. Given the sluggish market, the return on investment in flats has dropped. But it's still higher than the yield on bank deposits in the Czech Republic.