Friday News Briefing
David Rath released on bail; heavily indebted truck producer Tatra sold at auction
Posted: March 15, 2013
David Rath has been released on bail
A Prague district court today released the former Social Democrat deputy and ex-Central Bohemia governor David Rath from custody on bail of 2 million Kč. State attorney Petr Jirat has filed a complaint against both the bail and the decision to release Rath, who is charged with corruption. The final decision rests with the Prague Regional Court that will deal with the case in the weeks ahead. The bail has been paid by Rath's father and wife. Last May Rath was caught with 7 million Kč, money believed to have been a bribe for manipulation of an order for the reconstruction of a chateau. In September he was accused of further alleged bribes.
Pope Francis has already received three invitations to the Moravian events marking the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries, from Czech President Milos Zeman, Cardinal Dominik Duka and the Zlin region, according to daily Lidové noviny. The centre of the celebrations commemorating the time when Saints Cyril and Methodius arrived in the medieval Great Moravia in 863 will be Velehrad, a pilgrimage site in the Zlin region, south Moravia. Duka, the Czech Catholic primate, was the first to invite Francis while congratulating him on his election, afer which invited him in a letter of congratulation. Another letter has been sent to the Vatican by representatives of Moravia, mainly the Zlin region, the paper reported.
The dependence of Czech exporters on EU countries fell slightly last year, when 80.8 percent of the exports went to EU countries, compared with 83 percent in 2011, according to Industry and Trade Ministry data. Total Czech exports reached 3,000 billion Kč last year. "Our exports are vulnerable for being so tied to Europe. We have managed to separate ourselves from Europe a bit and find new territories," said minister Martin Kuba. The share of exports to 12 priority countries defined in the a new government export strategy that runs from 2012 to 2020 increased from 14.8 percent to 16.8 percent last year. In total, goods valued at 340 billion Kč were exported to these priority countries like Brazil, China and India.
Czech lorry maker Tatra was sold to the company Truck Development for 176 million Kč at an auction March 15. Tatra is currently 1.5 billion Kč in debt. One bidder took part in the auction, which had a reserve price of just over 175 million Kč. "We are going to take over the company on Monday or on Tuesday," said Truck Development board chairman Marek Galvas. "We don't expect any workforce cuts and want to maintain the current production capacity." Tatra owes around Kc650m to Composite Com, which said the auction would help the company to secure the money it is owed. "We only want to satisfy our claim and this is the fastest option," said Composite Com spokesman Andrej Cirtek.
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