ANO leader Andrej Babiš confirmed Thursday that current deputy finance
minister Alena Schillerová has been pencilled in to be the new finance
minister in his incoming Cabinet.
The former finance minister Ivan Pilný had stepped down from the post and said he would not seek to continue.
Schillerová was closely involved with the phase in of the electronic cash register system, a flagship measure of Babiš when he was finance minister.
Snow and ice have caused chaos on Czech roads on Thursday. Fire services
have also been called out across the country to deal with fallen trees
prompted by the snowfall.
In south Moravia police reported around three dozen accidents on roads. Most major roads were said to be open although motorists faced problems on higher ground. Warnings have been issued that temperatures could drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius over the weekend.
The lower house of parliament’s budget committee has recommended that the
main lines of a 2018 budget be passed. The recommendation counts on an
overall deficit of 50 billion crowns.
The deficit target for this year is 60 billion crowns. That target was set by the outgoing government which tendered its resignation on November 29. The newly elected lower house is expected to deal with the budget proposal for next year when it sits on December 5.
This year they have a shortened timeframe of just a few weeks to try and make changes to the suggested flows of funds.
Prague City Council set its budget for 2018 on Thursday. It counts on
spending for the year of 70.3 billion crowns and income of just over 54
Investments should come to 16.8 billion. Most of the gap between incoming and outgoing should be covered from the city’s own reserves and state grants. This year the capital had target spending of 62.2 billion crowns.
Food consumption in the Czech Republic last year rose by 1.9 percent with
the average consumption per person climbing to 785.6 kilos of food.
Consumption of milk and other dairy products rose by 2.1 percent, the Czech
Statistical Office announced.
Consumption of fruit increased by 2.0 percent and of vegetables by 3.0 percent. Meat consumption rose to 80.3 kilos, that’s around twice the average of 1950 consumption.
The office said 2016 stood out for the all time record amount of rice eaten by Czechs. The average came to 6.5 kilos per person, up by 0.6 percent on the previous year.
The Czech Republic is considering drawing on funds from the European
Investment Bank (EIB) to help develop its transport infrastructure.
Deputy minister Tomáš Čoček said a loan of around 100 million crowns could be sought which would be divided between road and rail projects.
He said the loan could replace a shortfall in state funds and be possibly cheaper than using state bonds to finance such development.
Surgeons at Prague’s Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine
have implanted their first artificial heart. The surgery happened ten days
ago and it was announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The 58-year-old patient suffered failure on both sides of the heart and couldn’t undergo regular heart transplantation. Doctors said he is in a good condition. The Czech Republic is the third country to perform the artificial heart surgery. France pioneered the surgery in 2014.
Jiří Milek, head of an agricultural and food production company Úsovsko,
is a candidate to be agriculture minister in the minority cabinet prepared
by ANO leader Andrej Babiš, the daily Právo reported on Thursday.
The news was confirmed by Mr Babiš, who said Milek was ready to leave his business if he became minister. Milek, who was an unsuccessful candidate to be an ANO party deputy in 2013, was recommended for the post by the Agrarian Chamber.
Tomáš Ježek, economist and former Czech deputy and Minister of
Privatisation, has died at the age of 77, the Czech News Agency reported on
Wednesday. The news was confirmed by his friends and former prime minister
Ježek, along with former president Václav Klaus and economist Dušan Tříska, was one of the co-authors of the Czech coupon privatisation policy. He was also one of the founding members of Civic Forum, and later served for six years as a deputy in parliament for the Civic Democratic Party.