Transitional Success USSR to EU — страница 10

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membership will both be achieved within the next 5-10 years, no matter what difficulties are faced along the way. Conclusions In just seven years, the Czech Republic transformed itself from a socialist, Soviet-controlled industrial-based economy to an increasingly service oriented OECD member and number one contender for the next wave of EU and NATO expansion in the region. The Czech Republic’s success can be largely attributed to its small size and population and its relative ethnic and religious homogeneity. More important, however, is the Czech determination and persistence in meeting the challenges of transition. The transition that began in 1989 entailed a great many hardships. Not all of the CEE countries made it through the transition so successfully. The Czechs

succeeded because they were able to stick to their plan when most other countries were forced to abandon for political reasons and popular discontent. When the reform package became difficult, the Czechs didn’t revolt, they didn’t strike and they didn’t complain. They showed remarkable foresight in taking early steps to revamp their tax system and banks, keep inflation and unemployment and wage increases low, and keep their currency at stable levels. These were not all easily accomplished. They survived the difficult times and came out on top of the CEE as the only country to make it through the transition virtually unscathed. This smooth transition earned their revolt the nickname, “the Velvet Revolution.” The Czech Republic is now poised to embark upon a greater

challenge, that of becoming one of the world’s power core with EU and NATO membership. It will entail further difficulties, but compared with the accomplishments of the past and their ability to overcome Soviet oppression and transition from central planning, there is little doubt that the Czech Republic will succeed in their final step toward complete transition from the USSR to the EU. References Economist. Country Profile: Czech Republic. The Economist, London. 1996. Economist. Saving Graces. The Economist November 9, 1996. Freiden Jeffrey. International Political Economy 3rd Edition. St. Martins Press, NY. 1995, Section IV. Heady, Christopher. Tax Reform and Economic Transition in the Czech Republic. Fiscal Studies, Feb. 1994. Heady, Christopher. Tax and Benefit Reform in

the Czech and Slovak Republics. Center for Economics and Policy Research, Discussion Paper Series No. 1151. March 1995. Klaus, Vaclav. The Ten Commandments of Systemic Reform. Occasional Paper 43, Group of Thirty, Washington, DC, 1993. Munk, Eva. Trouble Brews Over Tax Break. The Prague Post, January 18, 1995. Munk, Eva. 25 Year Old Sports Car Picking Up Speed. The Prague Post, January 18, 1995. OECD Economic Surveys. Czech Republic. OECD, Paris, 1996. State Budgets and the 1993 Fiscal Policy. CTK Business News. May 4, 1993. Svejnar, Jan. The Czech Republic and Economic Transition in Eastern Europe. CERGE-EI, Prague, Academic Press, NY, 1995. Untitled. CTK National News Wire. December 11, 1992. Web Sites: http://alta - simple query cz repub, transitional economies