Czech President Calls on Billionaire to Finance NWR Mine

Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala, the largest shareholder of coking coal producer New World Resources Plc, came under pressure from the country’s two top politicians for his plan to close the unprofitable Paskov mine.

The company should sell 44,000 apartments it owns in the Ostrava region to the local government and use the proceeds to subsidize operations at Paskov, President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok said today at a press conference in Prague.

“We are very concerned about the economic developments in the region,” Zeman said. NWR representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

NWR said last week it will close Paskov, a coking-coal mine with 3,000 employees and a yearly loss of 1.5 billion crowns ($78 million), by the end of 2014 unless the government agrees to provide financial support.

The government has refused to bail out the mine located in the north-eastern district of Karvina, which has the fourth-highest jobless rate among 77 districts in the country, according to data from the Labor Ministry.

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