PM Fiala: 2022 will be a difficult year for the Czech Republic

In his New Year's speech, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he expects 2022 to be one of the toughest years since the formation of the Czech Republic.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 02.01.2022 09:45 (updated on 03.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

This year is likely to be one of the hardest since the establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993, new Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in his New Year’s Day speech on Saturday. The country will have to deal with complications caused by inflation, rising energy prices, and the Covid-19 epidemic, he added.

Fiala said it will take a long time to handle these problems, but he expressed hope that positive results will come before the end of the year. He pointed out that these problems cannot be postponed. Inflation can quickly threaten savings and jobs, and halt economic growth, he stated.

He also spoke out against populist politicians who will promise easy solutions.

"Like that it is enough to reject something or resign on our membership of something," he said. "This is not true. Complex problems never have easy solutions."

Fiala also spoke about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and related restrictions that have been changing over the past two years.

"I hold the view that it is necessary to learn to live with Covid," he said, adding that this requires action on behalf of both the government and citizens.

"On behalf of the government, I can promise you that we will try to make all the unavoidable measures as reasonable, adequate, and predictable as possible."

Fiala said the Czech Republic will be affected by problems that originate from abroad, and difficulties for which the county itself was to blame.

"Especially because the previous government did not take enough care for our future and actually just lived from one day to another," he added.

He criticized the former government under his predecessor, Andrej Babiš, for its approach to new energy sources and state debt. He said his coalition cabinet is trying to cut the state budget deficit to an acceptable level. He said the savings should be made in such a way that citizens are not financially affected.

Fiala noted that some economists say that inflation cannot be controlled until energy prices are under control, and that this requires an international solution.

"There is Russia, who tries to blackmail Europe and even shows that it is ready for an armed conflict, and then there are major European states that have decided to invest in independence from fossil fuels practically at all costs," Fiala said.

He promised to help people who will be affected by the growing prices of energy.

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The Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will begin in July, is an opportunity to push through what the country vitally needs, Fiala said.

"We will be heard and seen more for several months and our opinion will play a bigger role," he said. He said that the government under Babiš did not make sufficient preparations for the EU presidency.

Fiala said the government is going to work patiently and hard, seek allies in Europe, make progress in the construction of new units at nuclear power plants, and support investments into reasonable renewable sources.

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