Prague - Outgoing American Ambassador to Prague Norman Eisen was certainly close to U.S. President Barack Obama and also thanks to him Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden visited the Czech Republic, Petr Pesek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) daily today.
Ilustrační foto - Americké velvyslanectví v Praze hostilo 7. listopadu od 03:00 hodin zástupce médií, kteří společně s americkými diplomaty sledovali, jak se vyvíjejí výsledky prezidentských voleb. Tzv. Ráno po volbách vyvrcholilo vyjádřením velvyslance Normana Eisena (na snímku) a jeho rozhovory s novináři. ČTK Šulová Kateřina
However, in retrospective, one may ask whether this was an advantage, Pesek writes.
What is the result of Obama´s "nuclear-free" initiative presented in Prague in 2009? he asks.
Should be Prague proud of being the city where the United States and Russia signed a new START treaty in 2010, as it were some neutral territory? Pesek asks.
Eisen made a speech on Independence Day on Wednesday and he partly delivered it in Czech and spoke of John Huss as a hero of Czech fight for freedom and independence, which is a praiseworthy effort to understand local history, Pesek writes.
When talking of security affairs, it is noteworthy that Eisen mentioned fight against terrorism and the military mission in Afghanistan, but not Iraq, which appears to be a taboo for Obama´s administration, Pesek writes.
Up to 10 billion crowns from the state budget is an acceptable price for the meeting of the promises that the ruling parties made before the election, Martin Zverina says elsewhere in Lidove noviny, referring to the abolition of some health fees and changes in taxes that the government approved on Wednesday.
However, it is a question whether the changes would be a contribution for the politicians and the Czech state, Zverina writes.
A reduced VAT on books may not influence the price at all, he says.
The abolition of patient´s fee for visiting a doctor, costing half the price of a cigarette pack, will not even help the poor and the government will have to compensate the doctors, Zverina writes.
The state budget deficit is roughly 100 billion crowns this year. When the government abolishes even relatively harmless restrictions, it indirectly tells the people that no savings are needed, that it is not planning to do such a thing and that all will be paid by future profits and future savings, which is a method used by all bad governments, Zverina writes.
The Czech cabinet has not reintroduced payments for food in hospitals and now it has abolished fees in doctors´ offices and pharmacies, but it will compensate the doctors, which seems like a simple accounting operation, Jana Bendova writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
People won´t people more for health services in cash but through the state in taxes, she says.
The Social Democrats (CSSD) of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka say they are socially sensitive, but they will have to find a way to pay the five billion crowns that the health sector will loose every year due to the abolished fees, Bendova writes.
Any "free" healthcare or other service costs something and the government needs money to be able to kindly provide us with this "free" service. It will not last long and the government will announce that the health tax (insurance) urgently needs to be increased, Bendova writes.