Final Word from Wednesday, February 18, 2004





Why does Prague airport have expensive self-service parking machines, when the CR is a mecca for low wages? Surely it would be cheaper and even more efficient - those machines always seem to be broken - to have "golden Czech hands" minding the parking lots. Get used to it, though, because this is merely a taste of what's to come. It's still possible to get shoes or a broken TV repaired in the CR, but the march toward the European welfare state will soon raise taxes and wage costs so high that it'll be cheaper to throw out the old shoes and buy new ones. Premier Vladimír Špidla told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that reconciling the costs of modernizing the welfare state and the impact on common people is a European-wide problem without a solution. If the European welfare model collapses, he said, so will the EU itself. Then Czechs could go back to minding the parking lot.

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