Evropská unie a USA relativně nenápadně zahájily jednání o vzniku největší světové zóny volného obchodu – Transatlantického obchodního a investičního partnerství. I v Evropě bychom si tak co nevidět mohli pochutnat na chlórem dezinfikovaném drůbežím mase, pečínkách z klonovaného hovězího dobytka anebo geneticky modifikovaných potravinách. Varují před tím jak ochránci životního prostředí, tak spotřebitelů.
Rezignace šéfa ratingové agentury Standard & Poor's může být důsledkem rozhodnutí S&P snížit hodnocení USA z nejvyššího stupně AAA na AA+. Avšak spíše souvisí s dlouhodobou špatnou reputací agentury, kterou zřejmě nezlepší ani nové vedení. Problém tkví podle magazínu Time v tom, že dlouhodobě žádáme po ratingových agenturách něco, co nedokážou.
More Czechs are satisfied with the current health care system than unsatisfied, but neither position had a majority in the latest CVVM poll on the subject. Overall, Czechs say their health is good — but they want more say in treatment decisions. Few people polled believe that the system is improving, however, with 81 percent saying it has gotten worse or stayed the same.
When asked to rate the economic levels of 10 countries in the region, Czechs put their own country in third place, with exactly half of respondents to a new CVVM poll rating the country positively. Germany and Austria came out significantly higher, and Romania was seen as the worst in the poll. The Czech Republic still has a long way to go to get back to the overall high assessments it held a few years earlier.
Transport Minister Vít Bárta has accused the construction firm Skanska of cutting corners on projects for the state’s Road and Motorway Directorate — and erected signs along some roads denigrating the construction company’s work. Skanska CR managing director Dan Ťok tells Czech Position that the builder is ready to sue the Transport Ministry if the controversial billboards are not removed.
Most Czechs — especially those nearing retirement age — are concerned about how far their pensions will go, with the vast majority seeing the current levels as insufficient, a CVVM poll shows. Respondents were deeply split as to exactly how the government should address the situation, but the least popular option is making people work longer.
The Czech Republic is a relatively small country, which makes it essential for people to know more than just their native language. But less than half the country feels it would be able to communicate abroad, and employers find the availability of German speakers insufficient in particular. Experts say more education than just textbook instruction is needed.
Nejblbější je dobrá zpráva ve špatnou chvíli. Dobrou zprávou je vyjádřená důvěra ratingové agentury Standard & Poor's. Tou špatnou, že v posledních týdnech se dramaticky změnily některé ekonomické mechanismy. Kdyby opravdu hořelo, což vůbec není vyloučeno, Česká republika nedisponuje přijatelnými zástavami za potřebné úvěry.
Thousands of flats are currently available in Prague. Developers made their calculations during the construction boom, when construction and land prices were inflated. Finished flats from the boom time are more expensive than ones being built now, when costs are lower. The question is how long developers can afford to keep the flats unsold before having to make a deep price cut.
Czech President Václav Klaus has vetoed an amendment that would have allowed local authorities to create “low emission zones” that ban heavily polluting older cars. Klaus said the bill would make it more difficult for companies to do business while not effectively achieving its goals. It also allowed for corruption and opened the country up to possible arbitration, he said.
Five NGOs, including Transparency International, say that overall the coalition’s conduct over the past six months in its declared mission to fight corruption has been satisfactory. Nevertheless, the government failed to score a top grade in any of the 11 areas marked; one area where it is deemed to have been particularly poor is combating conflicts of interest and making civil servants more accountable.
The government has taken the plunge, apparently under pressure from widow Dagmar, but most Czechs are still not on board when it comes to the idea of renaming Prague’s international airport in honor of Václav Havel. A survey taken before the government decision showed 49 percent of those polled opposed to the idea with 39 percent in favor.
The predominant view held by Czechs is that there are too many foreigners in the country, and that they should be allowed to stay long-term only under certain conditions. But over time, the xenophobic attitudes have been easing. People over 60, nonvoters and Communist supporters still tend to hold the most hard-line positions.
Putting your trust in the people is a good slogan for politicians seeking support, and this was the main argument wheeled out in the key Senate vote that pushed through direct Czech presidential elections for the first time. But there is a downside to the process, notably the increased risk of turf wars between the president and government, election of a non-democrat, and the fact Czechs will be left jaded by the process.
An arbitration court in Paris has ruled in the favor of ČSOB in one of the last big cases related to the takeover of failed bank Investiční a Poštovní banka (IPB) in 2000. With the liabilities related to the IPB takeover now largely eliminated, ČSOB is now in a better position to move ahead with its long-discussed initial public offering (IPO).
The long-term corporate credit rating of gambling company Sazka was lowered to ‘D’ (default) from ‘CC’ by ratings firm Standard & Poor’s. The rating on a €215 million bond issue due in 2021 was also lowered to ‘D.’ The downgrade followed Sazka’s nonpayment of principal on the bond. S&P previously downgraded Sazka’s rating on Dec. 17, 2010.
The market for magazines has fallen 20 percent over the last two years. One would think that PR people for media firms would be eager to get their messages out or at least the names of their publications mentioned, but that turns out not to be the case.
Vietnam dosud platil za úspěšný příklad přechodu od plánované ekonomiky k tržnímu hospodářství. Nyní má tento obrázek trhliny: kvůli problémům státních loděnic, dvouciferné inflaci a vysokému deficitu obchodní bilance agentury Moody's a Standard & Poor's razantně srazily rating vietnamských vládních dluhopisů.