Czechoslovak health care was completely nationalized in
1948 and remains a state of affairs in the Czech Republic to
this day. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of EZS and acronym for Czech Republic. Healthcare treatments are almost free and sickness
benefit is paid. In 2007, the Center-Right Government
introduced a small surcharge on doctor visits and hospital
stays. The fee became very controversial and in social
democratically controlled regions the fee is not charged. In
recent years, the number of private practitioners has
increased, and attempts have also been made to convert state
hospitals to public limited companies.
A new pension insurance law came into force in 1996,
raising the retirement age for men from 60 to 62 years and
for women from 55-57 years to 60 years. During the
privatization era, during the first half of the 1990s the
standard of living fell, but thereafter it has gradually
risen. According to the EU poverty index, the Czech Republic
is among the countries in the EU where poverty threatens the
least proportion of the population. Open unemployment has
remained at a low level throughout the transformation
period. Only in 2003 were figures above 10%. In 2015,
unemployment was slightly above 5%.
The Roma population is said to be around 200,000, but is
in fact significantly larger and has difficulties in
entering the labor market. The group is poorer than the
average population and to a greater extent dependent on
But in 1947 - when the Cold War broke out - Stalin was
tired of "the people's democracies." He began to count on a
third world war and demanded a swift transition to a Soviet
pattern of society. This was true of all the countries
within the Soviet sphere of influence. As the Communist
Party stood so strong in Czechoslovakia, it was easy to
reorient the policy compared to elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
In the 48 elections, the Communist Party got 51% of the
vote, and in June of that year proclaimed the People's
Republic and introduced a socio-economic program in the
style of the Soviet Union. But this was the beginning of the
end for Czechoslovak independence and for a special
"Czechoslovak path to socialism ".
The other parties were suppressed and the entire
political, administrative and cultural organization became
subordinate to the "leading role" of the Communist Party.
Democratic control of power disappeared. In the name of
socialism, they built up a bureaucratic dictatorship, which
was full of power. The basic civil liberties and rights were
erased. A political wave of terror was launched. Hundreds of
people were executed and tens of thousands were jailed. Most
The Soviet "advisers" eventually turned their terror
against Communists. In 1952, the general secretary of the
Communist Party, Rudolf Slánský, and ten other leading
Communists were executed. Czechoslovakia lost all its
freedom of action and was transformed into a satellite state
for the Soviet Union. With the 1955 Warsaw Pact, the Soviet
Union gained full control over Czechoslovakia's military
The industry, transport and trade were made into state
property. Central authorities steered them according to
five-year plans, as if they were one big business.
Agriculture was collectively forcible and agricultural
companies that pretended to be cooperatives were built up.
The Czechoslovak economy was largely an appendix to the
economy of the Soviet Union. This was organized through the
COMECON - Mutual Financial Aid Council - formed in 1949.
Throughout the 1950s, industrialization gained momentum
and also led to economic growth in Slovakia. During this
period, the productive forces grew, and there was full
employment in the country. But economic efficiency was low
and living standards only increased slowly. The extensive
industrialization created a very uneven development. In the
early 1960s, this developed into a deep economic crisis.
The capitalist class structure was gone and a new,
non-capitalist social structure emerged. The workers
obtained a lot of important social and cultural rights, but
they were limited by the authorities' undemocratic and
repressive policies. Yet the upheaval - which was "a mixture
of revolution and oppression" - found considerable support
in the people for the first time. This was true both in the
working class and among the intellectuals. But the
bureaucratic system of power prevents the majority of
society from participating in decision-making. They were
passivated. The political system was also in deep crisis.