Czechoslovaks Brace for Reforms Radical Economic Program, Including Price Hikes, Is Aimed at Moving Country out of `Limbo'

By Ruth Gruber, | The Christian Science Monitor, November 14, 1990 | Go to article overview

Czechoslovaks Brace for Reforms Radical Economic Program, Including Price Hikes, Is Aimed at Moving Country out of `Limbo'


Ruth Gruber,, The Christian Science Monitor


JAN. 1 is looming large in the future of Czechoslovakia, but not because of New Year's celebrations.

It is the day that sweeping price liberalization will take effect as part of the radical reform aimed at transferring the country's communist system to a free-market economy.

It is also the day that the Soviet Union will start demanding scarce, convertible (hard) currency for its vital oil supplies, squeezing the already tight fuel-supply situation.

All over the country, people look toward the economic changes with uncertainty and trepidation.

"We are in the midst of a transition which has never before been realized," Ladislaw Snopko, culture minister of the Slovak Republic says. "Even in Spain, after Franco died, (they went from totalitarianism to democracy), but they still did it all on the basis of a market economy."

People are convinced that the unknown will not be easy.

"They are aware that the radical economic reform over the next two years will mean a 10 to 20 percent drop in living standards and 100,000 to 350,000 unemployed," says Feder Gal, president of Public Against Violence, the political movement in Slovakia formed during the revolution as the vanguard of the anticommunist campaign.

"The biggest problem of the population at the moment is the fact that, for the first time in their lives, they have the future in their own hands and they don't know what to do with this freedom," he adds. Privatization has begun

A privatization law approved by Parliament in October, for example, will turn over to private hands about 100,000 small shops and enterprises - a changed world for business people who have never before had to deal with competition or marketing.

A round of food and transportation price hikes this summer was a foretaste of change. In mid-October, the commercial exchange rate of the crown was devalued by more than 50 percent. Price hikes in the wake of the Gulf crisis and sharply reduced supplies from the Soviet Union have already increased gasoline prices by about 50 percent.

"It means that if we drive to Prague from our home in Bratislava to visit my parents (a round trip of about 450 miles), it will cost 800 crowns ($26), and that's impossible," says Krystina Rexa, whose husband, a researcher, earns the equivalent of $80 a month - a normal salary. People save for New Year

Jan. 1 pops up in conversations like a barrier.

"I am just working and working, trying to put by as much money as I can," says Ondrej Ernyei, a Prague piano tuner who also earns extra money playing in a jazz band. "I have a lot of work at the moment, too - people are buying big items, like pianos, before prices go up after Jan.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Czechoslovaks Brace for Reforms Radical Economic Program, Including Price Hikes, Is Aimed at Moving Country out of `Limbo'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.