Worn out pensioners with 50-year-old qualifications driving trucks or working on construction sites is a crazy prospect. Nevertheless, equally crazy is the prospect of those old folks’ peers retaining control of public administrations and thinking up ever new rules and nonsense which lead to stagnation and recession.
Overall business conditions in the Czech Republic saw a marginal deterioration in April, primarily reflecting new orders, employment and stocks of purchases, according to the latest HSBC Czech Republic Manufacturing PMI, with the index dropping to 49.7 in April from 52.1 in March.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech, the Czech unit of Hyundai, saw a sharp rise in sales and revenues from cars produced at its Nošovice plant during the first quarter of the year. The company launched production of the new i30 hatchback in January, which now accounts for around a third of total output from the plant.
Declining confidence among manufacturers and those in import-export outweighed slight rises in the construction, services sectors and among consumers with the composite confidence indicator falling for the first time since December.
Czech PM Petr Nečas has spoken out against Switzerland’s decision to reintroduce an authorization requirement for workers from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004. “While we understand that opening the labor market for foreign workers in Switzerland is a sensitive issue, economic analyses proved that the benefits of free market and free movement of workforce are undisputable,” he told news server EurActiv.cz.
Perhaps no new Czech law has been anticipated with such great hopes — both justified and idealistic — as the amended law on public tenders. The legislation aimed at cutting out corrupt practices from public contracts came into force on April 1. While the law is certainly a step in the right direction, as indicated by the rush to churn out tenders under the provisions of the old law before it expired, it is still far from ideal.
Higher value added tax (VAT), consumer and income taxes, and higher health insurance contributions approved by the government will result in Czechs on average salaries losing a minimum of Kč 11,230 a year as of 2013, Martin Fassmann, the economic expert for the Confederation of Czech-Moravian Trade Unions (ČMKOS), said at a press conference on Thursday.
The Czech Ministry of Finance is planning its second ever issue of state bonds for individuals and non-profit organizations, to follow up on the success of its first issue. This time around some of the bonds, which will have a total face value of around Kč 20 billion, will be inflation linked. Subscription is due to begin in May and if successful, a further issue for individuals could be made this fall.
Eurozone policy-makers often complain that they are not given enough credit for all the changes they have pushed through since the Greek sovereign debt crisis broke out. It is an understandable reaction, but their claim that the changes represent a major step towards greater fiscal union is doubtful, writes Philip Whyte, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER).
The aim was to guarantee a swift — and irreversible — transition to capitalism for the countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain. But rather than ushering in a new era of prosperity, the mass privatization policy advocated by Western-trained neoliberal economists helped bankrupt Russia and other former Soviet bloc countries. So say Cambridge and Harvard sociologists in a study claiming to be the first to trace a ‘direct link’ to the ‘economic failure and corruption that followed.’