The Czech Republic's central state budget recorded a preliminary CZK 38.2 billion deficit in 2000, above the 35.2 billion crown target, and the Finance Ministry said the final figure would be even higher. The ministry expected it to reach about CZK 44 - 46 billion after all payments and adjustments are made. It should raise the overall fiscal gap to 98.3 billion crowns, or around 5.2 percent of gross domestic product, including privatisation revenues. The exceeding of the planned deficit is by lower revenues, mainly indirect taxes. The government had expected higher revenues from value added tax and excise taxes.
Czech politicians, leaders of the Czech Republic's four main political parties, failed on Tuesday to find a way to end a two-week-old battle for control of public Czech Television that pits rebel journalists against a new director they accuse of political bias.
The Czech koruna eased to a new two-month low on Tuesday amid low liquidity. The unit closed at 35.20 to the euro down from 35.06 on Friday. It traded at 37.09 to the dollar late on Tuesday, almost flat from 37.03 in the morning but firmer from Friday's 37.64.
Czech bonds rose, with the yield on the benchmark five-year bond falling to a three-and-half month low, on optimism inflation won't accelerate fast enough to prompt the central bank to raise key interest rate before mid-year. The government bond maturing in 2005 rose 0.7 point to 100.75, pushing the yield down 20 basis points to 6.53 percent. The benchmark 10-year, 6.4 percent bond rose 0.9 point to 95.70, pushing the yield down 14 basis points to 7.04 percent.