Czechs, Aus­tri­ans share many cus­toms: Hampl

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

VI­ENNA

Mr Mo­jmír Hampl, Vice Gov­er­nor of the Czech Na­tional Bank ad­dress­ing at the Wirtschaft­skam­mer Öster­re­ich said it is a great hon­our and ut­most plea­sure for me to speak here to­day. And be­lieve me, th­ese are not just stan­dard nice open­ing words. I really mean it. As if there is any­where I par­tic­u­larly en­joy vis­it­ing, it is Vi­enna and also Aus­tria as a whole.

And as the statis­tics show, the same goes for many Czechs. More than two mil­lion of us visit Aus­tria an­nu­ally, and the num­ber is go­ing up ev­ery year, re­gard­less eco­nomic cir­cum­stances (not the other way around). This is not due solely to the typ­i­cal and wide­spread en­thu­si­asm among Czechs for ski­ing.

Many Czechs sim­ply like Aus­tria as a coun­try. It would be hard for me to find a Czech who does not feel good, safe and com­fort­able here. And it is no ac­ci­dent. So, please for­give me if I do not dis­cuss to­day macroe­co­nomic trends, the ex­tra­or­di­nary syn­chro­ni­sa­tion of eco­nomic cy­cles in our two coun­tries, and fac­tors be­hind con­tin­u­ally ris­ing mu­tual trade. Much of this will be surely cov­ered in the dis­cus­sion. There is some­thing else I would like to talk about. I would like to make a per­sonal com­ment about the close­ness of our two coun­tries.

Af­ter sev­eral years spent within the Aus­trian fi­nan­cial group Erste and its Czech daugh­ter bank, af­ter many vis­its to Aus­tria on busi­ness and on plea­sure, and af­ter many work­ing meet­ings with Aus­trian part­ners on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions, I have be­come con­vinced that Czechs and Aus­tri­ans have a very sim­i­lar men­tal­ity and share many habits and cus­toms.

More­over how­ever, there is a sim­i­lar at­ti­tude to work. It was Jack Stack, the former head of Erste Group’s Czech sub­sidiary ?eská spo?itelna, who made me re­alise this. He once re­marked that it was al­most un­be­liev­able how Czechs and Aus­tri­ans as em­ploy­ees pro­duce very sim­i­lar out­puts and re­sults when given the same tasks to per­form. For ex­am­ple, ar­gued Stack, they like to de­liver some­thing they re­gard as per­fect straight away, and they do not like it when their boss finds fault with what they de­liver.

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