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The government of the Czech Republic faced a political and financial crises in1997 shattered their image as one of the most stable and prosperous post-Communiststates This somewhat new republic despite the financial tribulation has been able toreduce their inflation to 10 percent formed a balanced budget and hold unemploymentdown to only 3 percent since their break away from the former Czechoslovak federationon January 1 1993 The countrys gross domestic product GDP expanded in 1994 afterlosses of nearly 20 during the first few years of the 1990s The Czech Republics GDPis currently about 1208 billion according to a 1999 estimate and the GDP per capita isThe lands of the Czech Republic have always been a part of the most economicallymodern areas within the European continent The Communists when they obtainedCzechoslovakia in 1948 created an economic system that was greatly centralized on thegovernment Nearly all aspects of the Czech economy was controlled by the nationalgovernment This government regulated economy also removed almost all externalinfluence by non-Communistic countries Though the Czech economy held strong byEastern European standards the policies produced from the Communist government ledto an eventual economic decline in Czechoslovakia Once the final remains of Communismwas scraped out in 1989 a collapse of Czechoslovakia was inevitable because the legacyleft behind would be incredibly hard to deal with for the new leaders of this new stateIn the early 1990s the post-Communist government quickly converted theeconomy to a system based on free enterprise The new governments also adopted severalreform policies including a voucher privatization plan Under this plan citizens weregiven for a small government fee coupons which could later be converted into stock incompanies The voucher plan successfully privatized the economy through returningownership of most of the assets to the private As of December 1994 more than 80percent of firms in the Czech Republic were privatized or had decided on a privatizationstrategy Business boomed in the capital of Prague and other cities in the mid-1990s asnew companies were established
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