President backs planned government reforms in New Year’s address
Czech President Václav Klaus delivered his New Year’s address on Saturday in which he backed the reform agenda of the country’s centre-right coalition government. The Czech Republic, just like other EU countries and the US, was living beyond its means, Mr Klaus said, noting that the government’s austerity measures that will take effect in 2011 do not themselves guarantee that similar steps will not have to be taken again in the future. The Czech president also said that if government reforms are implemented quickly, rationally and with courage, the public will understand and support them.
In his traditional televised address, Mr Klaus also criticized organized campaigns leading to mass departures of professionals, although he did not explicitly mention Czech physicians who are threatening to leave the country in a bid to get higher salaries.