With many countries in Central Europe in the election season and with the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, the war in Ukraine has somewhat disappeared from the front pages. Indeed, several leading political forces in Central Europe have become less outspoken about their support for Ukraine or have indicated an intention to scale it down, hoping to regain support from populist factions.
The Israeli-Palestinian war has stirred emotions well beyond the Levant. However, we should approach the censorship of public speech with a cooler head. The British Home Secretary has warned that waving the Palestinian flag might be deemed a criminal act. France has banned pro-Palestinian protests, and so has Germany. The Chief Minister of an Indian state directed the police to address pro-Palestinian statements on social media.
Currently, Europe is focusing on other issues, particularly environmental protection and the fight against climate change. To this end, a broad investment strategy has been developed, which is detailed in the Green Deal and other related plans. A key component of these strategies is the energy sector, where the European Union has set ambitious targets for transitioning away from coal-fired energy sources and promoting the use of renewable sources.
The Liberalni Institute calculated that with an average wage of CZK 40,086, the total cost per employee is 63% higher, i.e. CZK 65,376. This is the second year of the Cost of an Employee project, which the Liberalni Institut publishes in cooperation with the Slovak think tank INESS and the German FNF Foundation. The aim of the project is to calculate the total cost of a job for different types of employees.
In an interview with Seznam Zprávy, the head of Madeta (a Czech dairy company) Milan Teplý stated several facts that contradict basic financial knowledge. He began the interview by saying that Madeta will be profitable this year. However, he immediately added: “It’s a sin to be in profit, we won’t get subsidies.” We do not understand this. Why should a company that is making profit seek subsidies and ask the state for support?
In line with expectations, the tax burden has therefore fallen compared to last year. In absolute terms, the average employee now pays a curious CZK 666 more per month to the state than last year (not adjusted for inflation), but this is only due to the growth in average wages.
The solutions to combat inflation that Danuše Nerudová proposes are not good ones. A price cap on energy can lead to nothing but shortages. Financially incentivizing households and industry to reduce energy consumption is useless in a world of market prices.
Czechs have to hold out for one more month. After June 17, 2022, they will start earning for themselves. Until then, for 167 days, they work only for the state. That makes this year one of the least free since the Liberal Institute has been counting Tax Freedom Day since 2000.
The US Federal Reserve System (Fed) has announced that it will raise interest rates. They have been at zero since the start of the pandemic and since the last recession in 2009, they hit their highest level in 2019. But even in 2019, they were very low, with an effective rate of about 2.5%.