Daily news summary
Czech unemployment falls to 5 percent
Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell to 5.0 percent in October, down from 5.2 percent in September. Just over 366,000 people were out of work last month, the lowest figure since December 2008. Meanwhile, the number of jobs available was at its highest level for October in nine years. The positive unemployment trend is being attributed to economic growth that has led to employers taking on large numbers of new workers.
MPs submit amendment allowing government to send troops abroad
A group of coalition MPs have put forward an amendment to the Czech constitution under which the government alone would have the power to send Czech soldiers abroad. At present such moves require the approval of both houses of Parliament. Its drafters say the amendment would make it easier for the state to react to crisis situations; in view of great changes in the security sphere in recent years, such crises may arrive most unexpectedly, they said. The amendment enjoys cross-party backing.
UK Foreign Secretary Johnson to visit Prague Friday
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is set to visit Prague on Friday for talks with his Czech counterpart, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek. Mr. Johnson will be the first British minister to come to the Czech Republic since the UK’s vote in June to leave the European Union and the two men are expected to discuss the situation stemming from that decision. The Czech Republic is pushing for its citizens to be allowed the same right to work in the UK as at present once Brexit happens.
CNB: Third biggest intervention to keep crown weak carried out in September
In September the Czech National Bank carried out its third biggest intervention on the currency markets since launching a policy to keep the Czech crown weak against the euro in November 2013. The central bank put some CZK 99.5 billion into ensuring the crown remained at around 27 to the common European currency, officials revealed on Tuesday. The Czech National Bank board has signalled that it will abandon the policy, which benefits exporters, in the first half of next year.
CEZ records 11-percent decline in profits in first three quarters
The Czech power giant CEZ recorded a net profit of CZK 14.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year, according to data it released on Tuesday. That figure represented an 11-percent fall in profits compared to the same period in 2015. CEZ’s revenues dropped by 5 percent year-on-year in the January to October period. The declines have been blamed on shutdowns at the firm’s nuclear power stations. CEZ, which is majority owned by the Czech state, is the country’s largest energy producer.
Councillors back moves to speed up Prague public transport
Prague councillors have approved plans to speed up the city’s public transport system, novinky.cz reported. The CZK 600-million scheme involves trams and buses being given increased right of way at traffic lights and special lanes being created. Ten sections of bus and tram routes will be affected. At present there are around 38 km of bus lanes and 12 kilometres of tram tracks in Prague, while there are almost 200 crossroads where public transport has priority.
It should be fair on Wednesday with temperatures of up to 4 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should be similar in the following days, with some snow expected in places.