This year will be one of the most difficult since establishing the independent Czech Republic, according to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The country will have to deal with the problems caused by inflation, rising energy prices, and the COVID-19 epidemic, according to his speech to the nation on Jan. 1, adding that it will take a long time to solve these issues.
It is necessary to learn to live with COVID-19, is the opinion of Fiala. According to him, the government will try to make the measures as reasonable, adequate, and predictable as possible. He called on citizens to take a responsible approach.
In addition to the pandemic, he said, there is a danger of inflation, which will jeopardize savings and job vacancies and stop the country’s economic growth. He also pointed the high state budget deficit as a serious challenge.
“These days, we are trying to cut the deficit at least to a bearable level to show that we are serious about dealing with inflation,” the prime minister added.
According to him, solving the problem of high energy prices requires international cooperation.
“On the one hand, there is Russia, which is trying to blackmail Europe and even shows that it is ready for an armed conflict. On the other hand, there are major European states that have decided to invest in fossil fuel independence, almost for at any cost,” said Fiala.
As a way out of the energy crisis, Fiala sees the patient and hard work of government, the search for allies in Europe, progress in the construction of nuclear power units, and support for investment in renewable resources. He promised to help those affected by rising energy prices.
He warned against political populists who he says would promise simple solutions. The prime minister described the Czech Presidency of the EU in the second half of the year as a significant opportunity to give the country a stronger voice.