How the Grinch Zeman Stole Christmas

Lany, Central Bohemia, Dec 26 (CTK) – The Czech Republic needs higher public investments, but the civil service should be streamlined and the redundant civil servants might benefit both the private sector and the budget, President Milos Zeman said in his Christmas message today.


Zeman praised the good security situation, low jobless rate and high economic growth in his speech.


He said pensioners should be given higher pensions, while less money should be spent on the people who refuse to work.


At the beginning of the speech, Zeman said there were more pieces of good than bad news and thanked all those who contributed to this.


However, the success has its shadows, such as the low investments.


“The proportion of public investments in the total public expenditures of the state budget is low and decreasing,” Zeman said.


It is a shame that the motorway between Brno and Vienna has not been finished, he added.


Zeman said he had agreed with Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslava Nemcova (ANO) that welfare benefits should be reduced to those who refuse the offered work.


The growth in the GDP has to be accompanied by the rising living standards, Zeman said.


“I am glad that that under the pressure of the shortage of manpower, the salaries are growing,” he added.


The reduction of the number of civil servants should be discussed. “Fifteen years ago, we had 80,000 civil servants, now we have 150,000 of them,” Zeman said.


The private sector would gladly accept the civil servants, solving its problem with the shortage of manpower, while the state budget would benefit from this, too, he added.