Wednesday News Briefing
Greek students accuse Prague police of brutality; Škoda Auto records 4.5 percent drop in after-tax profit
Posted: March 20, 2013
Škoda Auto has announced a 4.5 percent drop in after-tax profit for last year
AMBASSADOR Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) says that the Communists want to use the appointment of Vladimír Remek as ambassador to Moscow to show that being close to their party does not rule out taking any political position. He added that if he refused to nominate Remek, who was the first Czech astronaut, President Zeman could blackmail the cabinet until the end of its term in office. According to Respekt weekly Schwarzenberg declined to say what he will want in return.
VIOLENCE A group of Greek students and teachers who accompanied them on a five-day school trip to Prague claim they were rousted and allegedly assaulted by police according to Greek websites, eTeachers.gr and creteplus.gr. The students, all from senior high schools in Crete were staying at the Albion Hotel. On March 12 the hotel manager called police reportedly upset that the students were rowdy at 2 a.m. The Greeks said the police entered the hotel, insulted and beat them and made a teacher stand against the wall for a body search. One student claims he was bruised, handcuffed and taken to the police station without a teacher escorting him. He was released at dawn, after it was found he was a minor.
RESULTS Car maker Škoda Auto registered a 4.5 percent drop in after-tax profit to 15.4 billion Kč last year and its sales grew by 4 percent to 262.6 billion Kč, the company announced at a press conference March 20. Škoda Auto supplied a record number of 939,200 cars to clients in the year, 6.8 percent more than in 2011. Škoda Auto reached record values in car sale and sales, extended the range of models and strengthened further its position on the international car market, said board chairman Winfried Vahland.
MORTGAGES People in the Czech Republic signed 5,102 mortgage contracts in February, 44 fewer than in January, and interest rates stayed at 3.21 percent, Fincentrum Hypoindex data have shown. Interest rates had been falling constantly since August 2012 and were the lowest at 3.17 percent in December 2012. The index started monitoring the average interest rate on mortgage loans irrespective of the fixation period in 2003. The volume of the mortgage contracts people signed in February reached Kc8.637bn, compared with Kc8.888bn in February 2012 when people took 5,420 mortgages.
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