Final Word from Friday, April 12, 2002

The sixth of ODS's 10 succinct campaign topics is devoted to the protection of Czech national interests, mainly in terms of the Sudeten issue. A subtopic that surfaced this week is the party's objection to incentives for foreign investors. Václav Klaus has complained for years that foreigners get better treatment than Czech investors. Most economists nevertheless agree that since the incentives were passed, inward investment has been driving the economy. MP Martin Kocourek of ODS told Právo, though, that foreign investment has had little positive effect other than to create some jobs. These have been too costly given the tax breaks and other incentives, he said. It's tempting to dismiss ODS's comments as nationalism. Without an analysis of the cost/benefit of investment incentives, it's hard to know if ODS's argument is economics, politics or both.


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