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The Czechs like protectionism when it comes to… their market

(B2) The crisis, what a crisis. According to some Czech political leaders, the crisis lies with others. And the Czech Republic would be a sort of protected island. Because its leaders, followers of the free market and not protectionism, have been able to maintain an effective economic model. Not like these countries of old Europe stuck in their old habits.. -:)

Long live state aid… for others
. Finally, it is true that if in Prague we look with disdain at the initiatives taken in France, Spain and Italy to help the automobile industry, we still do not spit on the famous “scrapping aid” put in place. in place in several European countries. Listening to the Czech media, this scrappage aid would benefit… Skoda. Faced with the increase in orders on EU markets, the Czech manufacturer, a subsidiary of Volskwagen, has decided to resume full-time production, especially for small, inexpensive cars... Long live the State when it's the other who pays in some way

A well-understood protectionism of the labor market. But the greatest of Czech contradictions is expressed in the labor market. Liberal ideology finds a limit there, and a very strong limit. It is in fact a matter of doing everything so that work in the Czech Republic goes to the Czechs as a priority. And to push laid-off workers to return home. On a voluntary basis of course. With supporting bonus: paid plane ticket and 500 euros in bonuses. And if they're not too tempted, we push them a little. Work permits are not renewed, so they become illegal. And if that's not enough. We send the police to carry out checks – somewhat massive – with the aim of being a deterrent.

The police in reinforcement to deter. Thus, according to Radio Prague, “lOn Tuesday March 3, the police in the Plzeň and Karlovy Vary regions carried out checks on 521 foreign nationals – including 281 from countries outside the Schengen area.. Mongols, Ukrainians… but also Europeans. If I count correctly, this means that almost 300 Europeans were checked. And this control is not a coincidence by a somewhat zealous police chief from a somewhat remote region. “In Prague and Central Bohemia, police officers checked 450 foreigners. These operations are part of an initiative by the Czech government which encourages foreign nationals who have lost work in the Czech Republic due to the economic crisis to return to their respective countries…” specifies our Czech colleague. We are far, very far, from the beautiful principles of freedom, advocated in Brussels by the Czech government. But apparently it works. “The number of foreign workers in the Czech Republic decreased by 12 in January. That’s a little more than 000 people.” NB: when Czechs talk about foreign workers, it means all non-Czechs: Europeans included (Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, etc.)...

For the Commission: business as usual. And the European Commission apparently has nothing to say about this somewhat muscular policy. Vladimir Spidla, the Employment Commissioner, a (theoretically) Czech socialist, explained it to me simply. These expulsions, contrary to European rules? “But no, you're not there, Nicolas. I don't see any expulsions, these are voluntary returns. People who are at the end of their fixed-term contract choose to return home. The Czechs do not break any European rules.” Close the ban! The Commission spokesperson makes me understand that there are other, more important questions...


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).