Czech Republic: Prague paralysed by transport strike

16 June 2011
Hospodářské Noviny

Hospodářské Noviny, 16 June 2011

For Hospodářské noviny, the strike organised for June 16 by the public transport unions in protest against the austerity measures of the Nečas government, and in particular against the reform of the pension system, is “unprecedented”. “A new strike should be organised for the autumn, and teachers will also participate,” leads the newspaper, which believes that the unions are exploiting the current weakness of a government rocked by recent scandals. Inside the newspaper the political commentator Josef Mlejnek writes that if the attitude of the unions “is basically rational,” it is, “just like the reforms, chaotic.” While the strike, the HN notes in an editorial, may have paralysed transportation it has had the merit of showing the Czechs that they can “live side by side while having have different opinions and rights that they can assert without constantly coming to blows.” The Slovak newspaper SME notes on its front page that among the Czechs who have stayed home due to the strike is Prime Minister Nečas, who had to miss out on the summit of the Vységrad Group held June 16 in Bratislava to discuss the issues that concern the group, notably enlargement and EU funding.