Czechia will move from a government dominated by one personality to a coalition with many moving parts. The incoming Prime Minister- Petr Fiala of ODS- is touted by his former colleagues in academia for his experience with herding professioral cats: his strength, they say, is merging others' ambitions into a single objective.
The question for members who gathered at our #AmChamIntel discussion on the new government was simple: does what worked among departments in the same university apply to a government of five different political parties that represent less than half the voting public and a Parliament whose largest party is in opposition? A lot is riding on the Prime Minister's ability to weave together a governing coalition. On one hand, he faces two of the great challenges of this generation- climate change and (in the short-term) Covid. On the other hand, the Czech economy is well on the way to becoming high tech and value-added, and Czech society is experiencing unprecedented prosperity as result of the drive and innovativeness of the business community. This government is not facing easy decisions or an easy time, but they have more economic horsepower behind them than any previous government.
The answers of our experts- Erik Best of Fleet Sheet, Václav Nekvapil of CEC Government relations, and Tomáš Klvaňa, Ph.D. of University of New York in Prague- covered a spectrum of possibilities. We covered macroeconomics (will the conservative approach of ODS be accepted by STAN and the Pirats), COVID (has the public will to abide any restriction ebbed beyond anything the government can do?), economic policy (what will happen to The Country for the Future?), health care (will the necessary impulse for reform through innovation be sustained and will the right wing parties revive their push for privatizing parts of the system?), The Green Deal (Will ODS historical skepticism of climate change and the EU drive the government's approach?), and whether the government will last (our last session posited that we are entering a period of governmental instability).
Members can receive a detailed summary of the discussion, and join our next session on municipal elections, which will reveal how the Pirates plan to work with STAN after STAN used preferential votes to gain mandates from Pirate voters, and whether SPOLU can match their national results at the municipal level.
Author: Weston Stacey