State should seek investors for regions hit by coal exit - unions

State-run agency CzechInvest should be active in seeking investors for regions affected by Czechia's coal phase-out, CMKOS trade union confederation leader Josef Stredula said after meeting of the tripartite council (government, employers, trade unions).

The coal exit concerns the Usti, Karlovy Vary and Moravia-Silesia regions. Industry, Trade and Transport Minister Karel Havlicek mentioned a plan for the Karlovy Vary Region today but did not go into details, Stredula said. An evaluation of social and economic impacts of the country's coal phase-out is very important in terms of ensuring related programmes and land reclamation in time, Confederation of Industry president Jaroslav Hanak said.

The situation concerns for example brow-coal mining company Sokolovska uhelna which is supposed to lay off up to 1,000 people by the end of this year, Stredula said. Experience from the Moravia-Silesia Region, which has seen black-coal miner OKD gradually phasing out its operations, shows that the situation improved once the investor activity grew, he said. The government has the Re:Start programme focused on helping these regions. The Regional Development Ministry said that the strategy envisages measures worth up to Kc68bn by 2030.

Source: ČTK

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