Czech Republic

Local Press Digest

PRAGUE, Apr 25, 2000 (Rtr)


According to Finance Minister Pavel Mertlik, declines on the U.S. stock market could help the Czech economy, because a worsening in the U.S. economy generally leads to an improvement in the economy of Western Europe, where most Czech exports go.

The foreign trade deficit decreased in March to Kc 5.7 billion, compared to a deficit of 10.9 billion in March of 1999, the Czech Statistical Bureau (CSU) said.

Agriculture Minister Jan Fencl said he could imagine brewery Budejovicky Budvar remaining state-owned forever.

At the end of the week, Prime Minister Milos Zeman should meet with his Visegrad counterparts - from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - and with German and French premiers in Poland.

Czech Railways is preparing to set up a joint venture with Swiss AAE to modernize freight cars.


President Vaclav Havel will appoint Jaromir Schling as transport and communications minister and dismiss Antonin Peltram from this post. Petr Lachnit should also replace Jaromir Cisar as regional development minister.

Former Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec will testify today and Parliament Chairman Vaclav Klaus will testify tomorrow in court in the case of Libor Novak over questionable donations to the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). A definitive verdict in this trial is not expected in the near future.

In the worst case scenario, the state could obtain $5-7 billion (194-270 million crowns) from the privatization of CEZ , said CEZ's general director Stanislav Svoboda.


Changes in the supervisory board of Konsolidacni Banka have been decided, said Finance Minister Pavel Mertlik. The changes culminated with the appointment of Deputy Finance Minister Eduard Janota as chairman of the board.

Shareholders of Zbrojovka Brno agreed to transform the firm into a holding company at an extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

An extraordinary general meeting of ZDB Bohumin should confirm changes in the company's statutory bodies, which were approved by representatives of the former majority owner, EPAS, and of the new owner Moravia Trade Systems.


Environment Minister Milos Kuzvart will fly to New York today to attend a conference of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. Bedrich Moldan, Kuzvart's director for European integration, will accompany him.

Original article