The elections are held every four years. In the election held in 2002 APP received 42%, ASP received 37% , AFP received 10% and GREENS received 9% of the vote. The government is led by the coalition of the APP & AFP. The political environment seems to be stable till the re-elections at the end of 2006. 2. 3 Environmental Factors Until recently Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands were regarded as the most environmentally friendly countries in the EU and were referred to as ‘ green troika’. On 1 January 1995 Sweden, Finland and Austria entered the EU.
Domestic environmental standards in these countries were either comparable or even higher than the former Troika. Therefore they are broadly expected to strengthen the group of pushers in environmental policy making in the EU. Many aspects of the environmental protection are regulated by the Trade Act, which requires a permit for operating plant. Another major role in the Austrian environmental law system is played by the Water Law Act, which provides rule for the proper use of water and regulates the discharge of wastewater.
The Waste Management Act governs the trade and disposal of waste and importantly this act can impose restrictions on use of certain packing materials and setting up rules for the disposal and recycling thereof. The CRIMINAL CODE imposes administrative fines for the non-fulfillment of the laws. It even considers polluting the environment under certain conditions a criminal offense. 2. 4 Legal Factors:
A recent study done by the WIFO shows that labor costs in Austria are 10th highest in the world where average hour of work costs about 265.2 ATS 4. 75% more than the average EU labor cost. Another study conducted shows that in Austria, non-wage labor costs are 46% of the company’s wage bill. Every employee is paid 14 salaries. Austria offers a moderate corporate income tax rate of 34% Export loans are available at 3-5% interest rate Czech Republic does not show a steady growth, on the contrary, as seen in table 4, there is a strong fluctuation. The GDP Growth of 2003 is due to exports (growth of 6. 7%) and private consumption, (growth of 5. 4%) despite rising unemployment.
Key issue here is the use of customer credit driving private consumption, as for the first time low interest rates were introduced on loan agreements. Inflation rate in 2002 fell considerably to 1. 8%, compared to previous years, where the average for 1998-2002 was 4. 6% Exchange rates: The Czech Republic joined the Euro in May 2004. The exchange rate is 1 CZK to 0. 03289 ECU 3. 2 Political Factors Although the political and financial crises following the “velvet divorce” of Czechoslovakia in 1997 eroded the country’s stability and prosperity, the Czech Republic succeeded in becoming a NATO member in 1999 and an EU member in 2004.
Vaclav Klaus of the conservative Social Democratic Party succeeded Vaclav Havel, in the presidential elections in February 2003. Klausin named Stanislav Gross Prime Minister in July 2004. The government’s top priority is to strengthen the economy, as the greatest concern within the Czech economy is its greatest deficit, which in 2003 reached 12. 9% of GDP. Its intention is to increase drawing of EU funds under the 2007-2013 EU budget process although there are growing concerns that dispersion of structural and cohesion funds on which government depends could be delayed.
As part of the priminster’s policy, he has outlined a plan to support SME’s as a leading source of new creation as well as making loans more accessible to local firms and to bolster farmer’s competitiveness. They also intend to provide direct investment intensive for sectors that produce higher value-added good/services The slow legal system and the lack of transparency are common complaints and EU is raising concerns that the authorities are lagging implement of legalisation.
Planning permits for medium and large buildings are now the responsibility of the 22 city districts of Prague, with the city council now assumes the role of arbitrator of final appeals, previously dealt by the Ministry of Regional development. Opening hours are regulated by the local authorities. Typical hours are 8 AM to 6 PM Monday to Friday, with later opening on Thursday evenings.
Opening hours include Saturday mornings Income tax rate is 31%, and average salaries are 20% lower than the UK 3.4 Micro Factors 3. 4. 1 Place: The Czech Republic has a population of 10. 3 million, and covers land area of 78,866 km2. 75% of the population lives in urban areas, with 1. 3 million living in Prague and 388 thousands living in Brno- Ostrava 324 million. Unemployment levels are low by Central European standards and in 2003 reached 7. 8%. Expected to reach 8. 4% in 2004 – mainly due to existing reconstruction of public services, which is designed to cut employment in the public sector. 3. 4. 2 Promotion:
Advertising: newspapers, magazines, radio TV, posters, trade fares and exhibitions internet. TV and Radio Private media in the Czech Republic grew fast in the 1990s, and private radio and TV stations provide stiff competition for public broadcasters. Public TV broadcaster Ceska Televize (CT) operates two channels, and Czech public radio, Cesky Rozhlas (CRo), operates three national networks as well as local services. Two major private television channels broadcast nationally, and there are more than 70 private radio stations on the air across the country.