published: 16.10.2013, 18:10 | updated: 16.10.2013 18:39:26
Kutna Hora - The final version of the EU tobacco directive, whose aim is to lower the number of European smokers, is relatively good, Czech President Milos Zeman said during his visit to a Philip Morris tobacco factory today.
Zeman, a heavy smoker, said previously the interest in preserving jobs of the Czech tobacco producer´s employees and common sense should prevail in the debate on the directive.
He said today the directive concerns the surface of the cigarette package but smokers were not interested in it very much.
Zeman recalled that the restriction does not concern slim cigarettes and that menthol cigarettes would be banned only after eight years.
"I believe limits to consumption of tobacco products by administrative regulations would lead only to smuggling of cigarettes that would be more expensive and of lower quality," he said.
Zeman also said he was surprised at the high average monthly wage in the Philip Morris factory in Kutna Hora.
Zdenek Balan, a labour union member from the factory, said the average wage of the firm´s employees was 44,000 crowns. The average monthly income in the Czech Republic is slightly under 25,000 crowns.
Philip Morris is the biggest tobacco product maker in the country, with about 1100 employees.
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