Finance Ministry to amend law on 'constructions savings' following record fine of anti-monopoly office against participating banks

The Ministry of Finance said on Friday it would amend the law on building and loan institutions in order to allow participants to be able to transfer their so-called "construction savings" schemes to other institutions without penalties. The move came after the Czech anti-monopoly office this week imposed a record high fine of 484 million crowns on the country's six building and loans for having allegedly colluded on prices. The banks, which are likely to appeal the decision, were found to have taken advantage of the fact that building and loan customers cannot switch to other institutions without losing state subsidies.

Prague has 'four times' the per capita number of criminal incidents as Chicago

Police statistics confirm the common perception of Prague as the least secure city in the Czech Republic, Mlada fronta Dnes reports. The crime rate in the Czech capital is 8,250 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants, which is more than four times higher than in Chicago, the paper writes, noting that violent crime — and in particular the murder rate — is significantly higher in that U.S. city.

Dutch government sponsors trip for EU accession country experts to smooth their transition from aid recipients to donors

A group of MPs, civil servants and key figures from civil society among the 10 new European Union member states, will travel to two developing countries on Saturday on a trip sponsored by the Dutch government, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Agnes van Ardenne, said the week-long trip to Uganda and Vietnam was meant to give the accession countries the opportunity to develop in their new role as aid donor — rather than recipient — states.

Czech currency gains slightly on confidence in Central Europe, CNB interest rate hike

The Czech crown strengthened by Kc0.14 to Kc31.80/EUR on enthusiam by foreign investors for growth prospects in Central European region, Komercni banka's dealing section told the CTK news agency. The crown's firming is also likely due to higher interest Mates, analysts said. The Czech National Bank on Thursday raised interest rates by quarter a point to 2.50 percent. The market had anticipated the tightening of monetary policy and showed no major reaction to the move itself.

Former Miss Czechoslovakia wins licence from Miss World, will launch her own 'Ceska Miss' beauty pageant.

Former beauty queen and Civic Democrat spokeswoman Michaela Malacova has been granted a license from the Miss Universe pageant and now plans to found her own pageant, Ceska Miss, to compete against the Miss Ceska Republika event. Malacova, who won the Miss Ceskoslovenska contest in 1991, reportedly has financing backing from the AAA Auto group, the largest used car dealership in the Czech Republic.


Saturday is due to be cool and cloudy, with highs of 25 degrees Celsius and intermittent light rain expected throughout the country.