Final Word from Friday, June 17, 2005

Two recent studies give the false impression that the CR has very few poor people and is producing Rothschilds hand over fist. The OECD found that only 4% of Czechs are below the poverty line, a world record. Regulated rent and relatively high pensions and welfare help to keep the poor afloat, but the figure says nothing about the cost of leaving the CR. Once low-income Czechs cross into the outside world, whether for travel, study or medical reasons, they are suddenly very poor indeed. On the other end of the scale, according to Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, are 11,800 high-net-worth Czechs. Their number is growing faster than the EU average, but Germany has roughly eight times more dollar millionaires per capita. The CR has twice as many dollar millionaires per inhabitant as Russia, but for Western Europe, the CR's wealth is concentrated in a remarkably few hands. [Czech Republic]


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