Apr 02, 2024

“The Czech Republic is Not Ready for Crises, Extraordinary Situations,” Says New Report

Czechia is not sufficiently prepared for crises and other extraordinary situations, says the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) in an annual report for last year published on Tuesday.

The Czech Republic’s crisis readiness was criticized by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) in its 2023 annual report.

NKU warns of insufficient preparation for emergencies, citing mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of substantive action. Weaknesses in soft target protection and defense spending inefficiencies were also noted.

Direct contracts for arms procurement raised auditors’ concerns about potential waste. Minimal practical improvements in crisis preparedness were observed, risking significant damage to public health.

A prime example is the recent acquisition of 24 US F-35 fighter jets, the most expensive purchase in Czech military history. While strengthening defenses is crucial in the current climate, the SAO emphasizes the need for efficient use of limited resources.

The Supreme Audit Office also said that it was likely that the state would repeat similar mistakes at critical moments; this could lead to significant damage and wasted funding and may endanger the health of the population.

The SAO also warns that the increasing national debt places a burden on future generations. This is particularly concerning as inflation erodes household incomes. The report emphasizes the need to curb spending and improve the country’s fiscal health.

While a windfall tax on energy companies and banks brought in some revenue, it fell short of expectations, and the state budget deficit remains high. The war in Ukraine has further pressured the economy with rising fuel and energy costs.

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