published: 18.09.2013, 17:57 | updated: 18.09.2013 18:09:57
Brussels - The interest in preserving the work positions of the Czech tobacco producer´s employees, along with common sense, should prevail in the EP debate on the planned directive restricting tobacco products, Czech President Milos Zeman said after meeting EP President Martin Schulz today.
The European Parliament is to discuss the draft directive in October. According to Zeman, the EP may adjourn the debate.
The directive, over which a tough lobbying battle has flared up, introduces more striking warning signs on cigarette boxes and bans some types of tobacco products, among other measures.
Its advocates say it will benefit EU citizens´ health and reduce the number of young people who start smoking.
Its opponents say it would reduce EU countries´ budget revenues and threaten work positions.
"I firmly believe that common sense will prevail, along with the interest in the [continuing] employment of some 1500 employees of the Philip Morris company seated in Kutna Hora [central Bohemia], and another 10,000 employees [whose work positions] depending on this company´s prosperity," Zeman, a smoker himself, said.
He said the tobacco directive was one of the main topics he discussed with Schulz and that he will touch upon when meeting other officials on his two-day visit to the European institutions.
This is the first visit to Brussels by Zeman, who presents himself as a Euro-federalist and who was inaugurated as Czech president in March.
He started the visit by a half-an-hour meeting with Schulz in the EP seat today.
In the evening Zeman is to dine with EC President Jose Barroso.
On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet EU President Herman von Rompuy and close his Brussels stay by visiting the NATO headquarters.
He would not speak about tobacco on a visit to NATO, he said today.
05.12.2013 | 07:26
04.12.2013 | 13:56
04.12.2013 | 13:02
Czech GDP fall of 1.3 pct in Q3 lower than expected by CSU
04.12.2013 | 09:56
Czech average wage in Q3 rises by Kc322 to Kc24,836
04.12.2013 | 09:26
Czech press survey - December 4
04.12.2013 | 07:29