Final Word from Friday, November 14, 2003





Like the character in Network, the unions at ČEZ and Severočeské doly coal mines are "mad as hell" and aren't going to take it any longer. They're going on strike alert today over the coal privatization. The unions are worried that the cabinet's favoritism of Appian Group will put jobs in jeopardy. However, the issue goes even deeper. The government seems to have adopted the attitude that the CR has already been accepted into the EU and can now go back to its old ways. The cabinet is ignoring objections from Brussels with regard to the coal privatization and the state subsidies planned for Třinecké železárny steelworks. Czechs in general want to be good EU citizens and are willing to make considerable sacrifices - pay higher taxes, accept ridiculous regulations - for allowing accession to become a reality. The government, though, isn't keeping its end of the bargain.

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