Final Word from Friday, June 3, 2005

Country after country is rejecting European political integration (well, two so far), but Prague city hall is going full steam ahead with European price integration. It will raise city-transit rates by up to 75% on July 1 and argues that its costs are European but its ticket prices aren't. It has forgotten that Czechs are paid one-fourth that of their German counterparts. There won't be a referendum on the fares, but people can vote against the "arrogance of the elite" by clogging up Prague's streets with their cars or by "riding black." Fare-dodging will become more economical after the price hike, because the Kč 400 fine won't change, and the number of those Gogolesque inspectors won't either. If one catches you "jumping the turnstiles," you can throw him for a loop by asking to see his ID card (Služební průkaz, prosím). Like politicians, they dislike taking individual responsibility for their actions. [Czech Republic European Union constitutional treaty transportation metro subway assembly]


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