A tender worth almost Kč 100 million from the education budget was to be spent on legal services during controls of research projects funded from EU grants is to be scraped, the education ministry confirmed on Thursday.
At Kč 30.7 billion, the Czech Republic’s positive balance with the EU in 2011 was Kč 17 billion less than in 2010. This was largely due to audits of Czech spending and the suspension of some payments due to problems with several operational programs, the Ministry of Finance announced Thursday.
The Czech Republic is popular with money launderers due to laws requiring nearly indisputable evidence a crime was committed in generating the funds in question, say anti-corruption police, who estimate some Kč 100 billion worth of ill-gotten gains is washed clean here each year; with those legalized funds, criminal organizations then generate up to Kč 700 billion a year in profits. Meanwhile, since the new Money Laundering Act took effect, not one case has made it to court under its provisions.
The Czech government has approved extending a €1.5 billion (approximately Kč 38 billion) to the IMF, principally to help enable the fund to provide bailout cash for indebted Eurozone countries. The approved size of the loan — half what the EU had wanted from the Czechs — was proposed by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek. The EU had called on Prague to put up €3.5 billion while many in government wanted to contribute nothing at all.
The automotive industry in the Czech Republic appears to be resilient despite the gloomy global economic outlook with a record number of cars produced in the country in 2011 and forecasts of even higher output in 2012.
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) is due on Wednesday to present the government with the amount his ministry deems the Czech National Bank (ČNB) could contribute to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to protect indebted Eurozone member states from insolvency. Whereas the EU proposed Prague put up €3.5 billion, Kalousek says €1.5 billion is manageable; the central bank will have the final say.
After sinking to a near two-year-low in December, Czech economic confidence recovered slightly in January according to the Czech Statistical Office’s monthly survey. Most sectors of industry — and consumers — are a bit brighter about the outlook, though the hard-hit construction sector still sees no light at the end of the tunnel.
Preliminary results for 2011 released by the ČNB on its website show the Czech Republic’s central bank ended 2011 with an operating profit of Kč 35.2 billion. In 2010 the ČNB incurred a loss of Kč 9.7 billion.
Ministry of Industry and Trade has published figures showing that 217 per 1,000 Czech residents are licensed to conduct business. Industry and Trade minister Martin Kuba says he intends to reduce the administrative burden upon entrepreneurs.
Odds are that your Czech colleagues are most industrious on Tuesdays, and the least likely to perform on Fridays, when they devote the most time to arranging their private affairs, according to a survey on Internet use in 2011 published by the IT company trueconneXion.