published: 20.09.2013, 07:30 | updated: 20.09.2013 07:36:50
Prague - The inhabitants of the Ostrava industrial area in northern Moravia, threatened with high unemployment, do not care for words of advice from Prague that can merely send some social aid, Pavel Paral writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.
He recalls that some 3000 people will lose jobs after the local unprofitable Paskov mine is closed. The government of Jiri Rusnok decided that it would not pay debts of private owners of the black-coal mining company OKD and will buy neither OKD nor the Paskov mine.
However, the transformation of the "black" industrial region is inevitable, including mass sacking, and the locals must cope with the problems, Paral says.
He adds that not only Prague politicians but current Social Democrat (CSSD) leader Bohuslav Sobotka, from Moravia, as then finance minister, was behind the lucrative transaction for businessman Zdenek Bakala who gained the mines and miners´ flats in Ostrava, and the CSSD, too, participated it the original "wild" privatisation in 1997.
However, everybody must admit that the Ostrava mines would not avoid brutal restructuring under any owner.
It is primarily up to the local self-rule bodies and people to deal with the situation and Prague can only send them some money for welfare aid. There is no point in injecting further finances into "Bakala´s social mining" and this is why the caretaker government made the right decision, Paral writes.
The proposals of Social Democrat (CSSD) shadow industry and trade minister Milan Urban that the current coal-mining limits be lifted and the state may be involved in mining are not based on any real energy concept and thus his words are empty, Jiri Leschtina writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
Yet Urban assured voters that the possible CSSD government to be formed after the October early polls, in which the party is a clear favourite, would nod to the coal-mining extension only if the mining companies agreed with the owners on the sale of their houses and plots, Leschtina says.
Besides, a clear state raw material policy must precede any discussions on lifting the coal-mining limits (and the demolition of the villages built on potential coal deposits), Leschtina points out.
The previous governments, either left- or right-wing ones, did not adopt a binding documents listing the priorities of the Czech energy policy to decide whether it would be primarily based on nuclear power or on coal mining, Leschtina adds.
"This is the main reason why Urban´s statements about the necessity to lift the coal-mining limits is nothing but a premature cry in the dark," Leschtina concludes in HN.
Czech President Milos Zeman had no real mandate to express his strong opposition to the EU anti-tobacco directive during his visit to Brussels, Jiri Pehe writes in Pravo today.
The directive tightening conditions of tobacco products manufacturing and sale became one of the points of Zeman´s two-day visit to the EU institutions. Zeman, a chain smoker, was striving for its postponement, Pehe recalls.
It is rather strange that Zeman justified his effort by one concrete supranational firm, Philip Morris, which directly employs some 1500 people in a Czech town and other thousands are dependent on its prosperity.
There is no government resolution that would authorise Zeman to such a radical resistance to the EU ani-tobacco directive, Pehe says.
Besides, a crushing majority of Czechs support smoking restrictions, according to polls.
Nevertheless, Zeman did not explain his initiative to reporters since he was hurrying to the hotel to have a cigarette, Pehe writes ironically.
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