Czech Republic - Domestic policy

Spidla will have to focus a great deal of energy on keeping the economy moving forward in terms of growth, curbing unemployment, and finalizing the privatization of state-owned companies. As of 2003, most of the state-owned property in the Czech Republic had been sold, but 189 companies were still awaiting sale. Although the Zeman administration was in favor of privatizing the energy sector, Spidla announced that he was against this. The August 2002 floods, the global economic slowdown, and weaker demand in the EU for Czech products (the EU is the Czech Republic's largest market) created slower growth in 2002—it stood at only 2.7%. Spidla led the government in seeing through an increase in the minimum wage in December 2002, taking effect as of January 2003. However, unemployment broke the 10% barrier at the end of January 2003.

Spidla announced in October 2002 that the estimated damage caused to the Czech Republic due to the August flooding was Kc 70 billion, but that figure was not definitive. He suggested that a provisional budget for 2003 not be passed, in that it would hinder the flow of money needed for assistance in repairing the flood damage. The year 2002 was the worst year since the fall of communism in 1989 for Czech farmers, due to the floods and lower commodity prices, and farmers have demanded they receive the same subsidies as their counterparts in the EU. In October 2002, some 3,000 farmers protested the conditions of EU admission, demanding more government support for agriculture.

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