One of the biggest steps of Klaus’s Cabinet was the so-called Coupon Privatization. It had to erase communist-performed collectivization of personal property. People were now given coupons. These were in fact shares in various Czech companies. Unfortunately, very few of the Czech citizens knew how to use this to their benefit. In fact, some of these shares were more, some less profitable. It resulted into a general wave of anger towards the Government. Not only did this regulation not serve its purpose. The new liberal economy gave space to profiteers and foreign companies, who bought the coupons cheaply and seized the Czech market.
Many problems have been left unsolved to this day. One of the most controversial questions is restitution of German property that had been confiscated after the German Transfer. On the other hand, Czech Republic went through a very successful integration process, it entered NATO in 1999 and became a part of the EU in 2004. Some Czech politicians, including Václav Klaus who became president in 2003, are very skeptical about the Union, but admit that it will bring foreign investments and help the economy.
The current ruling party is leftist Czech Social Democracy (ČSSD), which suffered many scandals, mostly because of corruption. Its leaders weren’t able to fulfill their promises and address the main problems, which are unemployment, ineffective social politics and relatively high taxes. Many political experts refer to this era as an age of growing political criminality. Still this doesn’t tarnish Prague’s reputation of a tourist miracle. All in all, Czech Republic is preparing to accept Euro in 2010, and is slowly progressing towards a serious position in the modern world.