Final Word from Wednesday, August 21, 2002

As Central Europe was flooding, the northwest part of the U.S. was burning. The Economist wrote in its latest issue that the private contractors who profit handsomely from the fire-fighting efforts in the U.S. have no interest in reducing the number of blazes. In the CR, no one is promoting floods as a recurrent source of profit, but it's not yet clear where much of the estimated Kč 60-90bn needed to recover from this year's disaster will go. The authorities have said little about what will be done to monitor where and how the money is spent. The Union of Construction Entrepreneurs stated that it wants it members to work for no profit. Working for free is a nice PR gesture, but no one can be expected to do it for very long. The longer private contractors claim to do so, the more likely people will wonder where the profit is being hidden.


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