published: 27.09.2012, 00:27 | updated: 27.09.2012 05:42:02
Prague - The ban on hard liquor was unnecessary, but it uncovered the authorities' incompetence, Petr Havel writes in Mlada fronta Dnes, analysing the impact of the government measures that were to stem a wave of deaths and injuries from bootleg alcohol.
The nationwide ban only related to the territory of the Czech Republic. This was quite unacceptable in the situation where the free movement of capital, people and goods is the essential principle of the European Union, Havel writes.
One simply cannot protect the citizens of one's own country, letting the rest exposed to the risk, he adds.
The fact that the crisis committee did not know this when announcing the conditions of the ban is alarming, Havel writes.
In general, it can be said the government was up to its job during the methanol disaster, Jiri Leschtina writes in the financial paper Hospodarske noviny.
How about the opposition? Despite a single attempt at capitalising on the deaths, the Social Democrats have displaying a measure of restraint, Leschtina writes.
If anyone can be denoted the most prominent figure of the crisis, it is Health Minister Leos Heger, he adds.
With his calm, but sufficiently convincing public profile, Heger created the image of a government that is really able to efficiently act, Leschtina writes.
Nothing in this evaluation is changed by the fact that the full ban on hard liquor ought to have been declared one or two days earlier, he adds.
It is remarkable with what calm and dispassionate approach Heger has been able to cope with the tensest situations be it doctors' protests, the scandal with the IZIP e-books and the methanol storm, Leschtina writes.
Most probably, it was so because Heger is a minister not burdened with any political past, he adds.
President Vaclav Klaus's argument that there is no broad political, professional and social consensus on the government-sponsored pension reform may be sensible if TOP 09 leader Karel Schwarzenberg were also not right when saying that the changes ought to have been passed 15 years ago, Jiri Sticky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes.
In the meantime, when a political, professional and social consensus was being sought, a time bomb started to tick, he adds.
Every government in the period increased the volume of the pensions above the minimum set down by law and long-standing sustainable minimum, Sticky writes.
The planned changes are a compromise, a bad one, but still they constitute a step in the right direction. It is not radical and it will not threaten the state pensions, he adds.
Alternative solutions are well known: higher taxes or later age at retirement, Sticky concludes.
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