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Hopping on austerity bandwagon: 2010 in Czech politics

27. 12. 2010 11:13
New center-right government press for "fiscal responsibility", but faces many challenges

The late-May legislative election in the Czech Republic took place amid the pan-European debt crisis and "Greek scare", which influenced heavily the electoral campaign.

Arson attack on Greek embassy in Prague

The election resulted in the "Pyrrhic victory" of the left-wing Social Democrats, which received the largest portion of votes but was unable to form a majority coalition. The real winner of the election was thus a center-right coalition of three parties that agreed to form a government.

After election:Czechs to become Europe's reform leaders

New Czech government: radical reforms, no rush for euro

The new center-right government positioned itself firmly among European proponents of fiscal austerity such as Germany's Angela Merkel, UK's David Cameron and others. The government started to prepare rather radical reforms aimed at reducing the budget deficit, with the primary means being spending cuts and tax hikes.

Tears, sweat, and stable budget: Czech austerity bill

Czech government approves austere budget and tax hikes

Czech lawmakers approve 2011 budget with 4.6% deficit

However, the electoral support for the government and its fiscal austerity began to disappear as the details and scope of the planned reforms and spending cuts became known. In October, the municipal and Senate elections resulted in a surprising success of the opposition Social Democrats. In December, Czech trade unions organized a massive strike against the reforms.

Czech local elections deliver blow to austerity reforms

Czech govt loses majority in Senate. Reforms in danger

In addition, December 2010 brought a sudden crisis to the government - the Social Democrats, reacting to a serious corruption affair, initiated a no-confidence motion, with a junior coalition member - Public Affairs - seriously considering to vote against its own government. Eventually, after much tension, the party supported the government.

However, the temporal rupture inside the coalition is not forgotten, and probably will cause further problems to the government in 2011.

In 2010, Prague's aura of economic prosperity and well-being started to deteriorate.

No longer 'golden': Every 3rd Praguer wants to leave

Myth of affluent Prague unravelled, it may get worse

Aktualne.cz discovered the scope of the Czech Republic's alcohol black market and the enormous sums the state loses in unpaid consumer tax.

Exclusive:Gigantic alcohol scam costs Treasury billions

Also, the year 2010 showed that "old" hockey stars are still able to make headlines.

45 year-old Hašek dominates Czech ice hockey league

Jaromir Jagr awarded Medal of Merit by Czech president

Last but not least, the Aktualne.cz on-line daily celebrated the five years of its existence.

Story of Aktualne.cz: 5 years of unique online daily

autor: CzechNews | 27. 12. 2010 11:13

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