Images by Michal Cizek. Video by Jan Flemr
The Czech Republic, which holds the initially spherical of its presidential election on Friday and Saturday, is an ex-communist country that has been a element of the European Union given that 2004.
A factfile on the state:
The Czech Republic grew to become a NATO member in 1999 just before becoming a member of the EU. The state is also a aspect of the Schengen free journey spot, but it has resisted adopting the euro, favouring its individual koruna currency.
The outgoing head of state is Milos Zeman, a previous communist who experienced promoted close ties with Russia until it invaded Ukraine previous 12 months.
Ideal-wing Prime Minister Petr Fiala, a former professor of political sciences, presides about a government comprising five parties and backed by a parliamentary the greater part of 108 of the country’s 200 lawmakers.
Fiala took business office just after a general election in 2021 in which his 3-get together Together coalition narrowly beat the centrist populist ANO motion of then-leading Andrej Babis.
Babis, a previous communist, is 1 of 8 candidates managing in the presidential vote.
In 1918, Western Slavs shook off Austro-Hungarian rule, developing Czechoslovakia, a new country comprising Czechs and Slovaks. But by 1938, Nazi Germany annexed its borderland locations. A yr afterwards it took around the Czech territories of Bohemia and Moravia, and turned Slovakia into a satellite condition.
Czechoslovakia regained its autonomy in 1945, but a few yrs later on was brought into the orbit of the Soviet Union — and remained there right until a non-violent 1989 changeover of ability.
Czechoslovakia break up into two states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993 and dissident playwright Vaclav Havel grew to become the initial Czech president.
The place of 10.5 million people today has no entry to the sea and borders Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.
Its money Prague is a vacationer magnet, boasting a picturesque historic centre that has savored UNESCO Entire world Heritage standing considering the fact that 1992. In the shadow of the Prague Castle, the previous city split by the Vltava River is wealthy in architectural gems, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, Gothic cathedrals and art deco structures illustrating its thousand-year record.
In February 2022, Zeman took a U-flip on Russia soon after nursing welcoming ties with its President Vladimir Putin for years.
When Russia attacked Ukraine, he labelled Putin “a madman (who) have to be isolated”. He also admitted he experienced been improper about the Russian chief.
Fiala’s governing administration has vowed unflinching assist to Ukraine. It has supplied armed service help really worth $200 million to the war-ravaged country and gained far more than 400,000 refugees.
The government’s critics complain that Fiala’s workforce is spending a lot more notice to Ukraine than to Czechs battling history inflation and soaring strength charges, which are mainly thanks to the invasion.
Analysts broadly predict a economic downturn for the economic system greatly dependent on automobile creation and exports. The Czech Republic’s field depends on 3 big car or truck crops — Skoda, Hyundai and Toyota.