Czech Republic. The Olympic gold in ice hockey - the
first in the Czech Republic - was the only gold-edged in
Czech existence during a year of problems and accidents. The
year must be labeled as the worst crisis year since the
Communist Empire collapsed in the early 1990s.
Countryaah, the crisis began in earnest in late 1997, when the
right-wing government under Václav Klaus was forced to
resign following a scandal involving illegal party support.
As an expedition minister, an expert government was
appointed with the former Governor of the Riksbank, the
partyless Josef Tos̆ovský as prime minister. In addition,
the Klaus Democratic Citizens' Party (ODS,
Obc̆anskáokratická strana) - the outbreakers in the new
right-wing party Freedom Union (US, Unie Svobody) burst the
former Interior Minister Jan Ruml as party leader.
It was with great need that President Václav Havel
succeeded in being re-elected by Parliament for a second
term in office. Among the doubts to choose if Havel heard
his faltering health and a marked decline in popularity.
During the year, Havel underwent several difficult
operations, so serious that his life was considered to be in
danger. Havel's long convalescences and a marked decline in
popularity led to speculation as to who might be the new
The new parliamentary elections in June - ordinary
parliamentary elections would have been held in 2000 - did
not lead to the clear political boundaries many hoped for.
The earlier election resulted in a weak victory for the
Social Democrats (CSSD, C̆eská strana sociálnĕokratická).
New prime minister became Milos̆ Zeman, whose minority
government passed the vote of confidence following an
agreement with the largest opposition party, ODS, which cast
its votes. The government has only 74 of Parliament's 200
seats. A few months later, the ruling Social Democrats
suffered a major defeat in the Senate elections. Democracy
was also hit by an equally staggering defeat as only over
20% of voters voted.
The Czech economy has had major problems: declining
growth, high unemployment and increasing budget deficits.
The European Commission has criticized the Czech Republic
for its state subsidies and for committed crimes against the
Europe agreement entered into, among other things.
agriculture. Strong criticism was once again directed at the
country's ruthless civil rights laws and a series of racist
acts against the Roma.
In 2014, the Czech Republic tried to curb the EU's
aggressive rhetoric and sanctions policy towards Russia in
the wake of the Western coup in UkraineIn february. The
Czech Republic supported the sanctions, but together with
Slovakia and Hungary tried to seek diplomatic solutions to
the conflict rather than start a new cold war. In vain. EU
sanctions against Russia triggered Russian sanctions
targeting the EU. The Czech industry was heavily dependent
on exports as subcontractors to German industry, and German
industrial exports to Russia had fallen by 25% by the end of
2014. Russian sanctions against EU agricultural products
also affected Czech exports of apples to Russia. By the end
of the year, apple prices in the Czech Republic had fallen
25-30%. The Czech president was far clearer in his criticism
of the EU's sanctions policy, which he called a
Without cause, European police assaulted and beat 300
participants in a peaceful demonstration in Prague on
December 13, 2014. The demonstration ended in front of the
former Social Clinic Klinika, which had previously been
cleared by police.
The country continues to subject Roma to discrimination.
In the schools, Roma are brought together in classes where
they receive an inferior education in relation to the ethnic
Czech children. In September 2014, the EU declared to the
Commission that it would take legal steps to halt the
continued discrimination against Roma by the Czech Republic.
There were a series of demonstrations at the end of March
2015 against an ongoing NATO exercise extending from the
Baltic to the north, through Poland and into the Czech
Republic. The exercise was aimed at Russia, which had taken
the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine the year before. However,
the protesters were in number against the many
counter-protesters who supported NATO exercise.
The Czech Republic voted in September against the
introduction of quotas in the EU for the distribution of
refugees. President Zeman declared that the refugees were "a
Muslim invasion of Europe organized by IS". Since June, the
radical right wing has organized actions aimed at refugees
and immigrants in a number of major cities. The right wing
was greeted by countermeasures by refugee friends. By
October, only 700 refugees had entered the country due to
intense surveillance of border crossings. They were interned
in a center intended only to house 260. The center was run
by uniformed police who at the same time demanded € 260 per
person. refugee per month for food and stays. Both the
country's Ombudsman, the EU and the UN Commissioner for
Human Rights criticized the Czech authorities for their
treatment of the refugees and conditions at the center. The
criticism was ignored. Instead, in November, the president
took part in a radical right-wing demonstration in Prague