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News > Czechia

Czech Workers Go on Strike Against Spending Cuts

  • CKMOS spokesperson Josef Stredula (R), May 15, 2023.

    CKMOS spokesperson Josef Stredula (R), May 15, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @business

Published 15 May 2023

Among the measures designed to trim the budget deficit is an increase in VAT from 10 percent to 21 percent on almost all items.

On Monday, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) declared a strike in rejection of severe budget cuts announced by right-wing Prime Minister Petr Fiala's administration.


Inflation in Czech Republic Hits 18 Pct in September

"This is a very serious situation for us. We are convinced that every imaginable limit has been exceeded," said Josef Stredula, the spokesperson of CKMOS, the largest trade union centre.

On May 11, the Fiala administration announced a set of austerity policies to reduce the current fiscal deficit, which is the largest in the history of the Czech Republic.

Among these adjustment measures are the gradual increase in the retirement age, the elimination of the zero rate of VAT, the elimination of tax exemptions, and the increase in VAT from 10 percent to 21 percent on almost all items.

"All these measures will lead to a clear deterioration in the situation of families, with losses estimated at an average of 4,000 euros per household per year," the labor leader emphasized.

Currently, the current retirement age in the Czech Republic is 65 for men, while mothers can retire earlier, depending on the number of children. PM Fiala wants to progressively raise the retirement age until it reaches 68 years.

Since the Parliament has a pro-government majority, Fiala's public spending reduction package is expected to be approved. It will enter into force in January 2024.

During the strike, the workers will not completely stop their activities but will limit themselves to doing the bare minimum, thus causing a slowdown in business activity. The last time a similar situation occurred in this country was ten years ago.


Petr Fiala
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