Prague - The Czech Republic´s NATO entry 15 years ago on Wednesday was not defence against Russia, but mainly return to the western civilisation area, Daniel Anyz writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
It was the first specific filling of the slogan and at the same time a big wish of the end-1989 Velvet Revolution that the country "return to Europe," he writes.
The current developments in the area of the former Soviet Union prompt the question of what would have happened if NATO were not extended after the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe, or if it even ceased to exit, Anyz writes.
It is precisely Vladimir Putin´s Russia that fully reveals the importance of the Czech Republic´s entry into NATO, Anyz writes.
The unexpectedly high surplus of Czech foreign trade of 15.5 billion crowns in January confirms that the Czech economy depends on industry, that the Czech Republic is an industrial country and that it is able in this field, Julie Hrstkova writes elsewhere in Hospodarske noviny (HN).
She writes that this is true even though it means that the economy is tied to the economy of Europe and particularly Germany perhaps more than it would with sometimes.
However, other figures show that no demand for new investments and new employees for old factories can be expected. It ensues form this that the high unemployment of 8.9 percent will not decrease for some time, and this will be reflected in domestic consumption, Hrstkova writes.
The only thing that can set consumption and employment moving are further factories, including the assembly ones, which were disdained by all until recently, Hrstkova writes.
She writes that the effort to re-orientate the Czech economy to one of services or knowledge, which has resulted in practice in a competition for the biggest number of university diplomas per inhabitant, does not work.
Yes, the Czech Republic is the factory of Europe and it should be glad for this, Hrstkova writes.
A recent CVVM public opinion poll has indicated that a part of voters of the ruling parties could welcome the transformation of the parliamentary system into the rule of one leader, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo.
He adds that this is really only true of a part of voters because people are reasonable. The current developments in Crimea and in Russia show how far the system of one leader can lead, Mitrofanov writes.
Czechs cannot do anything about Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they should be aware of that they are citizens of a liberal country in spite of all lamentation, who are happy about living in a historically unique period that opened the barriers of the Russian empire 25 years ago, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).
Even though the Czechs cannot change Russia, they should do their best to prevent Russia from changing their country, Petracek writes.