5th September 2015

Politics: Czech Social Watch: Crisis ends, but tension is growing


On 19 August, the Czech coalition of nine NGOs called Social Watch published their 2015 national monitoring report on progress and problems on the road to gender equality and lower level of poverty in the Czech Republic. The report focuses on six main areas – economy, development aid, gender equality, Romany community and xenophobia, arms for conflict areas, and environment. Although the economic crisis ended in 2014 and the Czech government took measures to improve the situation of the poorest citizens, the tension in the Czech society has been growing. There are anti-inslamic moods, the country continues to export arms to conflict areas (including Russia, Ukraine) and majority of politicians and citizens are reluctant to accept their global responsibility, the report says. The total value of exported arms rose by 60% between 2013 and 2014. Almost 1.5 mil of Czechs live in the low-end income decile. Read more (abstract).

Czech results in an international comparison look good. The problem is that there are many people in the zone just (150 CZK, i.e. around EUR 5.5) above the poverty line. There is also the issue of long-term unemployment slowly turning into unemployability and, last but not least, the question of financial welfare of single mothers, says economist Ilona Švihlíková, co-author of the Social Watch report in an interview for Radio Zet.

Also, according to Týden.cz, the Czech Republic does not meet its development aid obligations. When entering the European Union in 2004, the Czech Republic agreed to contribute 0.33% of its gross national product by 2015. But the Czech contribution to development aid is three times lower, the Social Watch report says (and there are more countries acting similarly). Read more.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic