2022 will be one of the most difficult in the country’s modern history, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told Czechs in his New Year’s address to the nation.
“Unfortunately, I do not have much good news. This year will probably be one of the most difficult since the establishment of the independent Czech Republic,” said Fiala. Energy prices, inflation and covid are three serious dangers that the Czech Republic will face this year.
After winning the elections to the Chamber of Deputies, Fiala formed a government of representatives of the ODS, KDU-ČSL, TOP 09, Pirates and STAN, which replaced the minority cabinet of Andrej Babiš.
“The previous government paid little attention to our future. And it literally lived from day to day,” said the Prime Minister.
“Postponing problems to the next term is always easier than biting into a sour apple and starting to solve them. But our country has no choice because every day our problems will only get worse,” he added.
“We inherited a huge deficit but I promise that we will look for savings, especially where they don’t affect directly our citizens,” he continued.
As regards the country’s economic situation, he said that would take time to heal, but hoped that the first positive results would come before the end of the year. He warned against populists who would offer simple solutions.
In doing so, he indirectly criticized President Miloš Zeman, who in his Christmas message said that “the EU’s Green Deal is a significant danger” and “the environmentalism, once a serious science, has become a religion, with Greta Thunberg as its prophet.”
He also criticized the ban on the use of natural gas as an energy commodity and the ban on the sale of cars with internal combustion engines after the year 2035, which, according to him, “will lead to the undermining of the energy sector and subsequently to poverty.”
According to the Prime Minister, the Czech Republic must finally move on with the construction of new nuclear units and also support investment in other renewables.
In battling Covid, Fiala appealed for support from the public, stressing that the government could not win this battle alone and promising that the measures taken would be comprehensible, predictable and as least disruptive as possible.