Daily news summary
Lower house committee recommends lower budget deficit for 2018
The lower house of parliament’s budget committee has recommended that the main lines of a 2018 budget be passed. The recommendation counts on an overall deficit of 50 billion crowns.
The deficit target for this year is 60 billion crowns. That target was set by the outgoing government which tendered its resignation on November 29. The newly elected lower house is expected to deal with the budget proposal for next year when it sits on December 5.
This year they have a shortened timeframe of just a few weeks to try and make changes to the suggested flows of funds.
Prague city council ups spending target to over 70 billion for 2018
Prague City Council set its budget for 2018 on Thursday. It counts on spending for the year of 70.3 billion crowns and income of just over 54 billion crowns.
Investments should come to 16.8 billion. Most of the gap between incoming and outgoing should be covered from the city’s own reserves and state grants. This year the capital had target spending of 62.2 billion crowns.
Czechs could draw on EIB loan for transport projects
The Czech Republic is considering drawing on funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help develop its transport infrastructure.
Deputy minister Tomáš Čoček said a loan of around 100 million crowns could be sought which would be divided between road and rail projects.
He said the loan could replace a shortfall in state funds and be possibly cheaper than using state bonds to finance such development.
Czechs boost food consumption in 2016, rice record set
Food consumption in the Czech Republic last year rose by 1.9 percent with the average consumption per person climbing to 785.6 kilos of food. Consumption of milk and other dairy products rose by 2.1 percent, the Czech Statistical Office announced.
Consumption of fruit increased by 2.0 percent and of vegetables by 3.0 percent. Meat consumption rose to 80.3 kilos, that’s around twice the average of 1950 consumption.
The office said 2016 stood out for the all time record amount of rice eaten by Czechs. The average came to 6.5 kilos per person, up by 0.6 percent on the previous year.
Czech surgeons implant their first artificial heart implant
Surgeons at Prague’s Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine have implanted their first artificial heart. The surgery happened ten days ago and it was announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The 58-year-old patient suffered failure on both sides of the heart and couldn’t undergo regular heart transplantation. Doctors said he is in a good condition. The Czech Republic is the third country to perform the artificial heart surgery. France pioneered the surgery in 2014.
Businessman Milek candidate for agriculture minister
Jiří Milek, head of an agricultural and food production company Úsovsko, is a candidate to be agriculture minister in the minority cabinet prepared by ANO leader Andrej Babiš, the daily Právo reported on Thursday.
The news was confirmed by Mr Babiš, who said Milek was ready to leave his business if he became minister. Milek, who was an unsuccessful candidate to be an ANO party deputy in 2013, was recommended for the post by the Agrarian Chamber.
Snow brings chaos to Czech roads
Snow and ice have caused chaos on Czech roads on Thursday. Fire services have also been called out across the country to deal with fallen trees prompted by the snowfall.
In south Moravia police reported around three dozen accidents on roads. Most major roads were said to be open although motorists faced problems on higher ground. Warnings have been issued that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius over the weekend.
The weather Friday will be overcast with some sunny spells. Top daytime temperatures will range between minus one degrees Celsius and two degrees Celsius.