Czech Republic 2022: Profits or Human Rights

This year's report of the Social Watch for the Czech Republic focuses on three areas: the economy, health and care and socio-economic transformation. The report responds to the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also reflects on issues related to the conflict in Ukraine, in particular the impact of rising energy prices and inflation.

In the report, economist Ilona Švihlíková criticises the absence of national economic policy and chaotic conduct of the governments (there was a change in administrations after last year’s October elections) throughout the pandemic, as well as its unsystematic and antisocial tax policy. "Probably the most telling aspect of the efforts of the previous and current governments in response to the pandemic is the lack of any comprehensive summary - a review of failures, why some processes took too long, what will be the long-term effects of the pandemic etc." It is clear that even in the current crises related to the Ukraine conflict the new government does not intend to approach the growing social issues systemically and does not have the resources to do so, because both the previous and current governments have failed, in particular with regard to tax policy: “The common feature of these measures is the fact that they are not systemic; tax policy is made like ‘cutting a salami’, without regard to the needs of the state, the amount of the tax quota etc. The issue of tax justice is being ignored entirely. It is clear that the majority of tax policy changes have been made to benefit the wealthiest demographic". This increases social tension - protests and warnings from the unions are on the rise in early summer. “The Czech society is psychologically and socially exhausted after the pandemic; the issue of social peace is more pressing than ever before. Unfortunately, the government so far does not seem to understand the gravity of the situation and makes no effort to face the dynamically evolving inflation, e.g. by the way of pricing legislation.”

Read the report here.

The complete version of this report is available here and the pdf version is here.

Editor: Jiří Silný

Authors: Ilona Švihlíková, Tomáš Tožička, Dagmar Žitníková, Václav Drozd, Radek Kubala, Milan Smrž, Josef Patočka