News of Radio Prague
Germans call on Czech govt to shut down Temelin, stocks plunge
The German environment ministry has called on Prague to close down the Temelin nuclear power station in South Bohemia, citing safety concerns. The Environmental Impact Study ordered by the Czech government failed to convince Berlin that the Soviet-designed plant upgraded with western technology was safe. Upon the news, the stock of the power utility CEZ, which owns and operates Temelin, plunged by more than 20 percent on the Prague Stock Exchange to around 67 crowns 70. CEZ also pulled down some other blue chip shares, such as Ceske Radiokomunikace, Komercni banka, Czech Telecom, and Unipetrol which all lost heavily. CEZ estimates the cost of shutting down Temelin at 115 billion crowns or 3 billion USD. According to economic experts, part of the losses would have to be covered by the state so that CEZ does not go bankrupt before its planned privatisation.
OECD study: Czech banking sector in good shape
The OECD has published its regular study of the Czech economy. The study says the Czech banking sector is in a much better shape than in previous years, mainly due to the now-completed privatisation of the sector. The OECD analysis mentions specifically the case of the IPB bank which was put under forced administration a year ago in order to save it from collapse. The case is seen as a witness of the necessity of improving the supervision of the banking sector exercised by the Czech National Bank. The OECD study also appreciates the quality of newly- provided loans and a decreasing volume of overdue loans in the banking sector.
FinMin: budget deficit is the problem
Czech finance minister Jiri Rusnok has said the OECD study is generally very positive, except for the persisting problems in public finance. The study criticises the government for what it says is an excessively relaxed fiscal policy and a growing deficit in public finances which, together with the current account deficit, could endanger the economic stability of the Czech Republic.
Police: woman accidentally shot dead during car chase
Police say a woman was accidentally shot dead by a police officer in the town of Melnik, Central Bohemia, on Monday. Police were chasing a stolen car and fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it. However, one of the shots hit the passer-by. A police spokesperson described the accident as highly unfortunate and very unusual, adding, however, that the police sometimes use firearms to stop cars.
Three new FWA licences granted
The Czech Telecommunications Office has granted three licences for the Fixed Wireless Access networks in the 3.5 GHz band. The winners, SkyNet, Eurotel and Czech On Line, will pay 20 million CZK or more than half a million USD each for the licences. While some companies already operate this type of networks for data transmission, these three licences are intended solely for voice services and should increase competition in the fixed-line telecommunications sector.
Weather to be bad, meteorologists warn of torrential rains
And finally, the weather forecast. Weather in the Czech Republic will be influenced by a cold front which has been moving slowly to the North-East across the Czech Republic. We´re expecting a cloudy day with rain, with the highest daytime temperatures ranging from 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.