Final Word from Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Politicians like to talk about Czech national interests, but rarely do they say what they actually are. President Václav Klaus said that it's as difficult to define national interests as it is to define freedom, peace and democracy. Some politicians, such as Sen. Richard Falbr of ČSSD, argue simply that joining the EU is in the CR's national interest. MP Jan Kasal of KDU-ČSL said that having more babies is in the national interest, and Labor Minister Zdeněk Škromach of ČSSD said in all seriousness that 5% VAT on diapers is in the national interest. MP Jan Zahradil of ODS said that it's in the CR's national interest to retain sovereignty with regard to taxes, foreign affairs, defense, and social, health and pension security, and not to allow the perversion of history with regard to the Beneš Decrees. You might argue with his definition, but at least there's some substance to it.


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