Prime Minister Petr Fiala promises Czechs better times in 2024

Petr Fiala

In his Christmas address to the nation, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the country had seen two hard years, but 2024 would bring a turn for the better. He said that thanks to a policy of fiscal discipline the soaring deficit in public finances had been brought under control.  

Addressing the nation on St. Stephen’s Day, Prime Minister Fiala first touched on the tragic shooting at the Faculty of Arts that has been very much in people’s minds over the holidays. This Christmas, he said, had been like no other.

“We were all badly shaken by the brutal attack at the Prague Faculty of Arts. Throughout Christmas, our thoughts have been with the families and friends of those directly affected by it. We have prayed and continue to pray for the victims, for the injured and for strength to those who must come to terms with this terrible tragedy. For many this was the saddest Christmas ever”.

Mr. Fiala said that, in the face of this tragic event, it was important to remember that Christmas is a time of hope. Despite all the tragedies surrounding us, it is important for people to believe that good will defeat evil, that better times will come after hard times, the prime minister said, emphasizing that hope is the very essence of Christmas.

Looking back, Mr. Fiala said the past two years had been hard for the Czech nation. No sooner had they recovered from the Covid pandemic, the country had been hit by the impacts of the war in Ukraine, an energy crisis and soaring inflation. He said the government understood the uncertainties, fears and frustration that had come with these problems and he wanted to assure Czechs that the worst was over.

“Today I can speak of hope. Hope that next year will be much better. The good news is that inflation has dropped substantially. In the course of next year, it will finally reach the levels to which we were accustomed in the pre-Covid days. The constant price hikes will end and real wages will start to rise again. This will have a positive effect on your family budgets and savings.”

Mr. Fiala said the past two years had not been an easy time for the government either and it had been necessary to take unpopular measures to get the country’s public finances in order.

“Another positive development is that we have managed to bring the spiraling deficit in public finances under control. In 2024 the public deficit will fall well below 3% of the GDP, which is the generally accepted threshold for good government. After many years, Czechia will once again have healthy public finances.”

The prime minister said that 2024 would be a year of record investments into road infrastructure, security and defence as well as the energy sector which will undergo extensive modernisation so that it can provide sufficient nuclear and renewable energy for the future.

He said the government’s priorities for 2024 include progress in digitization, completing the pension reform and maintaining quality healthcare for all.

Author: Daniela Lazarová | Source: Český rozhlas
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