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HN: Czech, Slovak billionaires afraid of world developments

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Prague, June 1 (CTK) – Czech and Slovak businessmen who have more than one million dollars in their accounts are increasingly afraid of the developments in the world despite doing well in business, a unique survey J&T Bank conducted on 250 of them has shown, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes on Wednesday.

Alena Tkacova, the bank’s private banking director, said “well-off people closely watch the developments in society and the world and they are afraid of the future.”

In the past years, the Czech dollar millionaires feared for the economic development and were afraid of Russia. Now, they are optimistic about the future of the economy, mainly at home, HN writes.

Russia has partially given way to the migrant crisis, which is considered a security threat by 84 percent of the businesspeople who also expect a growing incidence of terrorist attacks, HN writes.

However, the dollar millionaires are not afraid so much of direct impacts of migration as of that the EU, which is “incapable of dealing with political problems” will not manage the current migrant crisis combined with the threat of Brexit, HN writes.

In Slovakia, two thirds of the addressed people agree that the Middle East policy of the United States increases the risk of terrorist attacks in the West, HN writes.

It writes that one third of Czech millionaires think that a third world war will break out. J&T Bank put the same question to a sample of 1000 people from the common population and found out that three quarters of them are afraid of a global war.

A big part of Czech dollar millionaires have prepared a reserve plan for leaving Europe if the situation worsened in Europe. They mentioned the United States or another overseas countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the most often HN writes.

“I sometimes have the Apocalyptic dream of that all barriers have been pulled down and migrants are flooding Europe from all sides. I do not know, whether this will happen, but I have started to make practical preparations for departure to the United States. I have bought gold and also real estate in Florida,” a respondent said in the anonymous survey, HN writes.

However, migrants are not the sole cause of fear. “We are really considering leaving for the United States. I feel it as a duty in relation to my children. I would like to be mistaken, but I think that Europe is beyond its peak. What will follow will be further weakening and a rise of neo-Marxism,” a female respondent wrote.

The millionaires take split views of the EU. On the one hand, they are aware of its economic usefulness, including the benefits for their firms, such as easier exports or the possibility of drawing subsidies, HN writes.

“On the other hand, they said the European Union is weak and ailing. They say this results in the inability to tackle the migrant crisis and the threat of a domino effect Brexit might have,” the survey authors said.

The opinion that Britain’s departure from the EU would cause a domino effect and a gradual disintegration of the EU is held by 54 percent of Czech dollar millionaires, HN writes.

It writes that every other believes that Russia poses a threat to the West. This figure is much higher than among the rest of the Czech population.

“The fact that the dollar millionaires are more afraid of Russia as a threat to the West than the ordinary Czech citizens may be due to the fact that they are better versed in power relations and that they view risks more from the political-economic perspective,” the survey authors said.

Czech dollar millionaires are strongly critical of the operation of the state. Eighty percent of them call for the adoption of a financial constitution that would stop its falling into debt, HN writes.

It writes that even more of them want the government to create a clear concept of the country’s further development.

The survey showed that most dollar millionaires-businesspeople show rightist liberalism in their view of the state. This is evident not only in their relation to the EU where they would like subsidies to be restricted, but also in relation to health care where they push for the patients’ higher direct payments, HN writes.

The billionaires also say the state should not raise taxes and the minimum wage. On the other hand, they mind instability more than the rampant state and taxes, HN writes.

The number of Czech dollar millionaires who agree with the CNB central bank’s intervention against the crown that weakened it in 2013 and depreciated the savings of a number of them is slightly higher than of those who disagree with it, HN writes.

It writes that the survey authors say this may be due to the fact that a crushing majority of the millionaires do business and the bank’s intervention raised the profits of the exporting firms.

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