Apart of the geographic fact and the benefit the country derives from proximity to the German economy, and the historical traditions of the First Republic, the Czech Republic still shares more with Slovakia and Hungary than it does with France and Denmark.
The Czech government continues to do its utmost to limit the economic freedom of individuals. Nowadays, the attention of lawmakers turns to the restriction on opening hours of malls and supermarkets with the floor area larger than 200 square meters during public holidays (8 days per year including Easter or Christmas).
Since the Czech Republic is an export-based economy with one dominant trading partner (Germany), one can be very skeptical of the ability of the Czech government to actually reduce unemployment. On the other hand, there is much the government can do to make the situation worse.
After 12 years after the abolishment of compulsory military service in Hungary, the debate over the matter was brought back to the political agenda on January 16, 2016, when László Kövér, Speaker of the National Assembly expressed his regret over the abolishment of the compulsory military service and described it as a “disastrous mistake”.
“We must prevent exploitation of workers,” they say. Well, this is a complete nonsense. Capitalist exploitation is nothing but a fable that leftists, populists or inadequately educated individuals uses for haunting employees – just like parents use tales about bugaboos under bed to scare unruly children.
Since 1993, the great majority of public institutions have been managed by local governments. The introduction of KLIK (Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Centre) led to a myriad of changes in the everyday life of every teacher and student. Financial centralization has transformed previously easy everyday tasks into heavily bureaucratic and difficult.
Due to the lack of a two-third majority which would enable Law and Justice to change the Constitution officially and to implement the ideas similar to those of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, the governing party is often hovering on the edge of breaching the Constitution.
Since the middle of January, the question of conscription has been in the center of public attention in Hungary. Leader of the parliamentary group of Fidesz expressed plans to change the current system but did not mention any exact agenda. The majority of opposition parties immediately objected the idea.
Hungarian educational institutions have been struggling with insufficient funding for a long time. Yet, the reforms aiming to tackle these challenges ended up damaging the education system. Tension is increasing between teachers and the government, with no solution in sight.