Daily news summary
Finance Minister: state budget deficit will drop to 40 billion
The state budget for 2019 should have a deficit of 40 billion crowns, Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová said in an interview with Czech Television, noting a revised reading of macroeconomic data. Last month, the deficit was projected at up to 50 billion crowns.
The 2019 budget approved by the government envisages increased funding for teachers’ salaries and pensions as well as reduced social welfare benefits. Most ministries can expect more state money, except for the Ministry of Health, which is projected to take in more from health insurers.
Public procurement volume up by a third in H1
The Czech Republic awarded 14,847 contracts worth a total of 198.7 billion crowns in the first half of the year, an increase of about a third in value in annual terms, according to CEEC Research data.
The largest single tender, worth 14 billion crowns, was commissioned by Čepro in January for the supply of specific types of oil by rail. Construction and infrastructure contracts, as usual, made up the lion’s share of tenders.
Tunisiar flight evacuated at Prague airport over suspected fire
Approximately 100 passengers arriving at Václav Havel Airport Prague on Sunday morning were evacuated from the plane by slides due to a suspected fire. No one was injured, airport spokesperson Marika Janoušková said.
Tunisia is a popular foreign destination among Czech tourists. The incoming Tunisair flight had departed from Monastir, a coastal city in the Sahel area.
Czech politicians pay tribute to late US Senator John McCain
A number of Czech politicians have paid tribute to US Senator John McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former presidential candidate, who died on Saturday from brain cancer at the age of 81.
In various statements, political leaders described the outspoken Republican as role model, freedom fighter and defender of democracy. Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Petr Fiala described him as a brave man and friend of the Czech Republic while Top 09 party chairman Miroslav Kalousek described him as a principled leader admired around the world.
McCain will be missed not only by Americans, said the head of the foreign policy section of the presidential chancellery, Rudolf Jindrák.
Prague Chamber Orchestra giving free concert to mark Czechoslovakia's centenary
To mark the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's birth, the Prague Chamber Orchestra will give a free concert on Sunday evening in Wallenstein Garden, outside of the Senate building.
The renowned orchestra will perform works by Czech composers Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček, as well as by international figures such as Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. The hour-long concert begins at 5 pm.
Czechs spent 11 pct more in e-shops in H1 in annual terms
Czechs spent 51.5 billion crowns in e-shops in the first half of the year, 11 per cent more in annual terms. Growth slowed during hot weather, which came to the Czech Republic in April.
Overall spending is expected to rise, as since last year the Czech Republic has the largest number of e-shops in Europe per capita, while brick and mortar stores increasingly offer goods online. In 2017 e-shop sales grew 18 per cent to 115 billion.
State forester Lesy ČR’s profit down 38 pct in H1
The bark beetle infestation and drought contributed to a 38 per cent drop profit for state-owned forester Lesy ČR’s in the first half of 2018.
Lesy ČR, which own almost half of the country’s forests, recorded a 20 per cent decline in sales and noted a dramatic fall in prices on the central European market.
Monday should be clear to partly cloudy, with average daytime highs of 20 to 24 degrees Celsius and light winds. The outlook for Tuesday is much the same but with a chance of occasional rain.