The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Velvet costs are piling up

An easy transition to capitalism is proving a mixed blessing in the Czech Republic. The so-called Velvet Revolution has left many essential works undone. Banks remain in state hands and underegulated markets have encouraged asset stripping and fraud. Then as former prime minister Vaclav Klaus began to get serious about change, his government fell. In the ensuing political stalemate, reform is the chief victim. Nigel Dudley reports.

Need for stronger Chinese walls

The Czech Republic built a reputation as an oasis of regional economic and political stability in the first seven years after the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. But, after what one foreign banker described as its annus horribilis, during which the country was battered by floods, a currency crisis, economic austerity measures, rising unemployment and a government collapse due to a political funding scandal, the Czech Republic faces a painful new year as it tries to bring the reform process back on track.

There was some respite for the country with the appointment of the Czech National Bank (central bank) governor Josef Tosovsky as an interim prime minister. But he has to win a vote of confidence this month if his government is to survive for a limited period before elections can take place.

The key test for international bankers will be if ministers press ahead with the sale to foreign financial institutions of major stakes in the three largest state banks, ensure that there is a properly functioning capital market by enforcing new stock exchange and investment banking legislation and take further steps to diversify an economy that is still dominated by low wage, low technology industries.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree