The leadership of Alexander Dubcek is bringing liberal policies to society and to the economy in Czechoslovakia.

Czechoslovakia right in the middle of Europe has been a crossroads of trade for a thousand years and a republic for fifty years. Carved out of the old Austrian Empire after the First World War by Tomáš Masaryk, the new country was made up of two similar but not exactly similar peoples.

The Slovaks in the East and the Czechs in Bohemia have lived through turbulent times in Czechoslovakia but now look to a new beginning in which they hope socialism can be allied to personal freedom. 

The new Deputy Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia is a liberal marxist economist and an expert. He's Professor Ota Šik.

Plans from the government of Alexander Dubcek to stimulate the economy include allowing incentive payments for management and workers and industry seeking business from the West directly.

Professor Ota Šik tells reporter John O'Donoghue about the most important changes that he plans to introduce. These include the removal of the central directive planning system and the complete independence of business enterprise. He also comments on the challenge of linking western capitalism with the socialist administration of industry. 

This episode of 'Seven Days' was broadcast on 21 June 1968. The reporter is John O'Donoghue