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Jindřich Šídel’s regular Saturday satirical gloss about things that move politics and society and which you may not have noticed or didn’t want to notice.
Czech politics is ruled by intolerable hypocrisy of Saints. All this pretending that you, a person with a monthly income of 150 thousand and more net, are interested in the problems of “ordinary people”, the last time you met them was when you graduated high school (and then only out of compulsion in the campaign). It’s almost unbearable.
Let’s tell it like it is. Politics is a discipline in which some rich people effectively butt heads with other rich people, with whom they have a common interest – that generally much poorer people allow them to continue living their comfortable lives.
And that’s why we should be happy for every politician who rejects any pretense and talks to us straight.
Recently, the Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (STAN) has become a real star in the discipline of political honesty, who shows with every interview how much power he has over everything and everyone.
Despite all the effort that Minister Síkela demonstrated last week in an interview with Aktuálně.cz, we still feel reservations in his speech. It’s as if he still can’t fully detach himself from the protective instructions of his surroundings, which probably demand something like “empathy” from him. At least they play well. Which doesn’t work anyway.
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But when Síkela is able to do this and gets rid of the last remnants of pretend correctness, his interviews will finally look as they correspond to their content.
So roughly something like this:
Mr. Minister, perhaps try to explain to citizens and companies at the beginning why they are actually at risk of a significant increase in energy prices?
Again? It’s a terrible annoyance to keep explaining it to someone. I’ve probably done this a million times, so find it somewhere. Plus, it’s pretty complicated, so no one really understands it anyway. Take it for granted that it just worked out that way.
Some of your government colleagues complain that you knew about the impending price increase for a long time, but did not inform anyone about it.
Bonzák Jurečka, right? So he probably should have been interested earlier.
Mr. Minister, many citizens really live in fear that their electricity bills will increase significantly from January. What would you say to them?
Well, I guess so, well. So we corrected it a little so that it didn’t look so crazy, because then the poor thing would trample us. It won’t be so bad after all. A maximum of forty percent up.
Which might be a problem for a lot of people.
Do you think? A few thousand a month? I would estimate it to be about fifteen at most.
That’s a lot of money for most people.
Well, it probably is. They will probably have to save more.
A lot of people may get into existential trouble.
Um. So let Jurečka take care of them. That’s probably where the ministry for the poor comes from, isn’t it? I run the ministry for the rich.
But many companies fear that due to the price of electricity in the Czech Republic, they will not be competitive in Europe.
They are unlucky. Look how much unemployment we have. Zero zero nothing. They will find some work. Perhaps. But that’s their problem. We can’t always lead people by the hand.
So you don’t admit that people have reasons to fear a sharp drop in living standards and businessmen the collapse of their companies?
I keep saying it over and over. We are doing very well as a country. Have you ever been to Africa? There they dig people in the ground with a handle. We are still here like pigs in the rye.
You may be judging by your standard of living. Most people are much worse off.
Fact? And what I do with it? Should I be moved? So yeah, I’m already feeling it… I’m kidding.
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The opposition wants to call another extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies due to energy prices. Are you ready to have a serious discussion with them about this topic?
Like with Havlíček? That’s a complete mess. Why should I even talk to him?
He is the head of the shadow government, maybe a future prime minister. Moreover, unlike you, he is a member of parliament who received a mandate from the voters whose interests he represents.
So let him increase their electricity bill, MP. Look, the House, it’s a terrible ordeal. What could I possibly do with the time I’ll lose there?
But now you are talking exactly like Andrej Babiš, who talks about the Chamber of Deputies as a chat room.
He’s right too. I think we understand a lot about this.
However, you were nominated to the government by the STAN movement. Aren’t you afraid that Vít Rakušan might want to get rid of you, so that your – let’s say – not always completely sensitive expression doesn’t negatively affect the movement’s electoral prospects?
I don’t see. Do you have the impression that there is someone out there who would like to do it for me? And even if he wanted someone to let him do it? I’m not really afraid. STAN is staffed like a piggy bank before Christmas. But if they want to kick me out, fine. I’m not kidding about it. Especially for the pittance that it is. If they wanted to kick me for that Eurocommissioner, I would probably think about it.
Thank you for the interview, Minister.