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Hackers target Czech banks

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Klaus delivers stinging assesment of Nečas government

Online banking in the Czech Republic has been disrupted after hackers targeted the websites of some of the largest financial institutions in the latest wave of cyber attacks to hit the country. The websites of the three largest Czech banks – ČSOB, Komerční banka and Česká spořitelna – and also Raiffeisenbank were put out of operation Mar. 6 due to the hacker attack. Komercni banka spokeswoman Monika Klucová said the bank faced the so-called DDoS attack. No client data leaked out during the incident, Klucová said. Internet sites of the Prague Stock Exchange (BCPP) are not accessible, either. The websites of the energy exchange, securities exchange and central depository are out of operation, said BCPP spokesman Jiri Kovarik. It follows cyber attacks on some news servers in the Czech Republic in recent days.

Outgoing President Václav Klaus said the government of Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) did not use its chances and strong mandate it gained in the 2010 general election. After visiting a cabinet meeting Mar. 6 Klaus said he considered Nečas’ government the most promising of all thanks to the strong mandate it had (118 out of 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies). “I believed that this government, also thanks to this strength in parliament, will manage to do something resolute and that is also why I placed the highest demands on it,” Klaus said. Nečas reacted saying “the government has pushed through completely everything it sent to the Chamber of Deputies and what it wanted to push through.”

Meantime the latest PPM Factum poll shows support for ODS falling below 15 percent for the first time in 15 years. The survey recorded a 25.9 percent rating for the Social Democrats (ČSSD), followed by TOP 09 (16.5%), the Communists (13.6%), ODS (13.3%), KDU-ČSL (7.8%) and SPOZ (7.5%).

BUSINESS

The health ministry says a de­cision needs to be made within six months whether to adopt a two-component health tax, Mladá fronta Dnes (MFD) reported Mar. 6. Medical insurers would be allowed to compete by lowering the rate somewhat on the so-called nominal component. MFD said that the current tax of 13.5 percent could change to something between 13 percent and 14 percent.

Staropramen will replace tens of thousands of beer glasses in bars and res­taurants this year with a new design, Hospodářské noviny (HN) reported Mar. 6. The move will cost tens of millions of crowns and is meant as a way to support beer sales. Of the 15 million hectoliters sold in the Czech Republic last year, bars and restaurants accounted for 44.6 percent, down from more than 50 percent before 2009.

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