The World

The king of Czech car makers is this company which employs 20,000 auto workers, mostly in this city an hour’s drive from Prague. The company has recently shut down for a month and will produce fewer cars when it reopens, at least until summer. The work week will also shift to four days. This mechanist says there are a lot of people and businesses in this town that rely on the company. But Czech auto exports have fallen by 15% this year and cities across the country are feeling the pinch. People for example are eating out less. This cafe owner says her cafe has less money. She thinks it’s not healthy for a town to rely so much on one company, and analysts make the same point. She says countries like the Czech Republic have become vulnerable during times like this because their exports are not diversified. But some also see an opportunity for Central and Eastern Europe. This analyst says a recession in Western Europe will cause the Czech currency to depreciate against the Europe and soon consumers in Western Europe will look here for deals. That possibility may be why that car company has not yet brought out the axe and why people have not given up hope.

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