• Zveřejněno: 22.09.2010

The new Czech Government characterizing itself as "centre right" consists of three parties - ODS (Civic Democratic Party), TOP 09 and Věci veřejné (Public Affairs - VV). On 10th August 2010 the Government passed the vote of confidence in the Deputy Chamber of the Czech Parliament where it enjoys a majority of 18 seats (118 to 82).

The Policy Statement of the new Government closely follows the provisions of the Coalition Agreement concluded by the three parties. Its Preamble states that "on the basis of a consensus reached in those coalition negotiations, the ODS, TOP 09 and VV decided to form a coalition of budgetary accountability, the rule of law and the fight against corruption. The Coalition will undertake the fundamental reform of public finances in order to halt the indebtedness of Czech citizens, and will reform the pension system and health care. It will rigorously pursue a course of fundamental action to combat corruption and bureaucracy. The Coalition considers other priorities to be the promotion of the business sector, which alone produces long-term sustainable jobs, and the more precise targeting of the social protection system so that abuse thereof does not waste resources intended for the truly needy." The Coalition Agreement and the text of the Policy statement can be found on the address http://www.vlada.cz/en/default.htm.

The CMKOS analysed the above Governmental documents. The analysis can be found on the CMKOS website (www.cmkos.cz) in the Czech language. The analysis was discussed at the CMKOS Council session on 23rd August 2010. The main findings contained in the analysis are as follows:

According to the CMKOS in the Governmental documents there is a relatively compact liberal project of de-etatization and privatization of social protection systems, public services and of erosion of legal protection of employees.

According to the CMKOS the proposals of the Government in the sphere of labour law, as for instance prolonging of trial period, shortening of notice period, differentiation of severance pay, facilitating the possibility of repeated conclusion of fixed-term contracts for the period of 5 years, prolonging the possibility to work on agreement on work performance 300 hours instead of present 150 (these agreements do not grant to employees legal protection, right to holidays, are not covered by regulations concerning working time and time to rest, nor by social insurance) fundamentally reduce the legal protection and also the conditions for reconciliation of work and family life of employees.

The CMKOS essentially does not agree with the proposals to cut wages of civil servants and public employees. According to unions in public sector these proposals are wrong, curb the basic functions of the state, devastate public sector and in their consequences damage citizens and society as a whole.

In the sphere of unemployment issues the Government for instance wants to link the unemployment benefit to the activity of the unemployed (e.g. his/her readiness to work for the community), reduction of benefit for those who left job on their own will. The CMKOS cannot accept such proposals.

The CMKOS is against Governmental proposals also concerning the issue of pensions. The Government for instance plans to promote transfer of a part of pension insurance to private funds, etc.

In the sphere of social policy and health care the Government plans would cause the reduction of sickness benefits. The Government also plans to cut other social benefits - for instance family benefits, benefit at birth, disability benefits. In health care it wants to increase the fee paid for the visit at the doctor's. According to the CMKOS these measures are insensitive from the social point of view, will worsen the situation of ill people, of disabled and families with children.

In its analysis the CMKOS states that cutting the expenditures of the state budget will not help, on the contrary it may jeopardize the basic operation of the state. The Czech Republic will not get out of deficits without increase of taxes. The tax system operates with much lower collection of taxes than the politicians admit. The reason for the deficit of public budgets according to the CMKOS lies in the fact that the Czech economic policy strived for the biggest possible reduction of taxes. The economic policy of the Government continues in cuts and rejects the increase of revenues with the exception of increasing the VAT. According to the CMKOS the restriction of expenditures will lead to dampening of the growth which will result in reducing of private consumption, increase of unemployment and then also the reduction of investments.

The CMKOS is ready to negotiate with the Government about its reservations and comments as concerns the Government planned reforms. The Government also proclaims its readiness to talk with trade unions and defend its policy. Nevertheless, the CMKOS calls for a real social dialogue which has not been the case till now.  However, if these negotiations are not successful the trade unions could consider protests, as according to the CMKOS the contents of the Policy Statement brings about the strongest attack against employees rights during the last twenty years, it liquidates public services and thus prepares their privatisation and aims at creation of cheap labour force.


 August 2010