Final Word from Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One day after we wrote that the voice of business isn't being heard over all the noise about the economic reforms, VP Martin Jahn of the Confederation of Industry laid out in HN what's most on the mind of manufacturers. They want lower social and health charges (and caps), less welfare as a way to bring people into the work force, no reduction in spending on transportation infrastructure, more-effective spending on R&D and education, and a schedule for adopting the euro. Most non-manufacturing businesses could agree with all of these items, except perhaps adoption of the euro. Manufacturers want to peg the crown as soon as possible at a rate that's favorable to them, while many service businesses would prefer to ride the appreciation of the crown as long as they can. To increase its voice, Czech business needs to find a platform that sidesteps the few thorny issues and concentrates on achieving the goals that everyone can agree on.[Czech Republic Škoda Auto research and development manufacturing]


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