A dispute has broken out after a deputy minister of finance, Martin Pros, called on the Czech National Bank to investigate possible manipulation of an important reference rate in domestic banking. The central bank has dismissed the suggestion, while Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has criticised the official’s move.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka have stressed the need for the Czech Republic to push ahead with plans for the adoption of the euro. At their meeting on Wednesday they said it was time for the country to adopt a time-frame and proceed in meeting the set convergence criteria. However, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš and central bank governor Miroslav Singer oppose the initiative arguing that in view of the eurozone’s problems the question of euro adoption is premature.
A new section of Prague metro’s A-line opened to the public on Monday with champagne, a buffet and a concert by the Tap Tap Orchestra. The four new stations –Bořislavka, Nádraží Veleslavín, Petřiny and Motol – have extended the A-line (the oldest line of the metro) from Dejvice to Motol, the site of the biggest hospital in Prague. The new stretch, which cost approximately 20 billion crowns, will also service passengers heading for Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport.
The Czech Republic’s national carrier Czech Airlines is no longer a state-owned company. This week, its majority stake has moved into the hands of private companies. Travel Service company, a member of Unimex Group, announced on Tuesday that it has finalised a purchase of 34 percent of the Czech air carrier after action on the purchase option offered by Korean Air. It therefore becomes Czech Airline’s second largest shareholder.
The Czech Republic’s biggest tobacco company, employing around 1,000 at its main plant at Kutná Hora, upped its sales and profits for 2014. But its share on its Czech home market continued to slide under competition from cheap rivals and bootleg sales while it enjoyed greater success and a rising share of smokers in Slovakia.