The Czech energy giant CEZ has launched an international investment arbitration case against Bulgaria, company spokesperson Barbora Půlpánová said on Tuesday. CEZ is seeking hundreds of millions of euros from the Bulgarian state. Ms. Půlpánová said that CEZ had decided on the step following a number of interventions on the part of Bulgarian institutions that had harmed the firm’s business activities in the country. The antitrust authority in Sofia fined CEZ over EUR 600,000 for abusing its dominant position on the local market.
The poor condition of a number of Italy’s banks could be a bigger danger to Europe and the Eurozone than Brexit, says the Czech minister of finance, Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš made the comment after a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, adding that the Italian government would have to support the country’s banking sector. He also said he was surprised that the incoming British prime minister, Theresa May, had said her country was definitely going to leave the EU.
Footballer Milan Baroš is set to leave Mladá Boleslav for Slovan Liberec in one of the biggest domestic transfers so far this summer, the news website Lidovky.cz reported on Tuesday. Baroš, who is 34, was not a regular starter for Mladá Boleslav last season. The striker scored 41 goals for the Czech national team in 93 appearances and won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.
A new working group established to plot Czech government policy in the wake of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote will meet for the first time on Thursday, the Czech News Agency reported. The group will be headed by the state secretary for European affairs, Tomáš Prouza, and should produce a strategy for negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and policy positions on the future working of the bloc by the end of September. Announcing the establishment of the group just after June’s Brexit vote, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said one of its aims would be to ensure continued equality for Czech workers in the UK.
A new discussion forum named Melting Pot has opened on the side-lines of the Colours of Ostrava music festival. Among the speakers are Israel’s Dan Shechtman, recipient of a Nobel Prize for chemistry, and Steven Lee Myers, author of an acclaimed biography of Vladimir Putin. Organisers say there has been a lot of interest in tickets for the forum, which will be included in the entrance price once the festival proper begins on Thursday. The headliners at this year’s Colours of Ostrava include Tame Impala and Underworld.
The average price of new apartments in the Czech Republic is the highest among former communist states in the region, according to a newly published study by Deloitte. The average cost per square metre of new flats in this country is three quarters more than in Poland and almost twice as much as in Hungary. It would take Czechs 6.9 years of pay to purchase a 70 metre squared apartment, compared to over 7 years for Slovenians and Hungarians and 11 years for Britons, the report says.
Inflation in the Czech Republic remains close to zero, reaching 0.1 percent year-on-year for the second month in a row in June, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Tuesday. An analyst with Komerční banka told the Czech News Agency that inflation was unlikely to rise significantly in the coming months. Fuel prices increased by four percent compared to May, but overall inflation was pulled down by reductions in the prices of foodstuffs.
Former international Jan Koller has criticised the performances of the Czech Republic at football’s Euro 2016, where they picked up only one point in three group games. The country’s record goal-scorer told the newspaper Sport that Pavel Vrba’s team had looked scared, treated opponents Spain and Croatia like unplayable supermen and produced “very destructive football”. Koller said he had previously refrained from speaking negatively about Czech teams but this time he had to be critical of one of the worst sides in the tournament.
The state body tasked with keeping emergency reserves, the Administration for State Reserves, says that it has signed an agreement with the insolvency administrator and new owner of German fuels storage company, Viktoriagruppe, which guarantees the return of Czech stored fuel worth around 1.2 billion crowns. The state body says that the fuel should be shipped back to the Czech Republic within two months after a rail link to the storage site at Krailing is repaired. The agreement should draw a line under a long tussle over ownership of the fuel following the bankruptcy of the German company.
Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš has only agreed for a minimal loan so far to mining company OKD of around 150 million crowns, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek. Mládek said the sum would only be sufficient as a stop gap measure to pay wages for July and by September the government would be faced with the same position again. Last week managers of the hard coal mining company said that an external loan of 700 million to 1.0 billion crowns was needed this year to keep the mines working. The government committee dealing with OKD’s problems met on Monday without Andrej Babiš. He has demanded guarantees that any state loans be repaid. Around 12,000 jobs depend on the mining company.