Final Word from Thursday, June 24, 2004

When Václav Klaus told German economists this week that there weren't any benefits to joining the EU, he didn't have in mind renting a car, buying a paper or shopping on the internet. But he could have. Some companies in the EU-15 apparently haven't realized yet that the CR joined the EU. For example, someone wanting to rent a car in Germany and drop it off in the CR can't do it. The CR is still seen as an Eastern country where car theft is too high. Or, if a reader buys the FT, Wall Street Journal or other international newspaper in the CR, he pays much more than the EU-15 rate. The FT costs 3.25 in the CR, a 30% premium over the EU-15 price of 2.50. Still worse, and continue to consider the CR an "other" country and charge higher delivery rates than to more-distant Portugal. Sad to say, but Czechs are indeed second-class citizens in some ways. Europe Financial Times


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