Czechs question EU support for pandemic economic fallout

According to Hořejš, Czech politicians have failed to remove the stigma of European funds which are often considered synonymous with corruption. Moreover, Czech society is not well informed about the European budget as a whole. [EPA-EFE/ARIS OIKONOMOU / POOL]

STEM agency has revealed that 51% of Czechs do not think that the EU would be able to help Czechia face the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We welcome EU taxpayers’ money, but we think that it will be lost in the Czech Republic or spent for nonsense. It is no wonder when Czech ministries allocated subsidies to golf playgrounds or hotels disguised as training centres,” said STEM analyist Nikola Hořejš told Seznam Zprávy.

According to Hořejš, Czech politicians have failed to remove the stigma of European funds which are often considered synonymous with corruption. Moreover, Czech society is not well informed about the European budget as a whole.

STEM reported that 51% of Czech citizens have never heard of the EU’s recovery fund Next Generation EU, with only 3% able to explain what the EU’s recovery fund is. Authors of the study claim that public awareness is relatively low even among EU supporters. “The European recovery fund is not a public topic,” the authors said.

Czechia’s National Recovery Plan has been not endorsed by the European Commission yet. The country was among the member states to deliver its plan after the April deadline set by the European Commission.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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