Pavel Ottos notebook: Beware the oaf
Even president Miloš Zeman declared that he would no longer make joint appearances at rallies with the controversial anti-Islam campaigner. If only Zeman could have a similar moment of clarity about the Castle’s ever more inconvenient security measures, supposedly being put in place to thwart potential terrorist attacks.
ANO environment minister Richard Brabec is up in arms over the Social Democrats using his plans to hike the costs of extracting groundwater – in response to ongoing drought concerns – in their political ads. Brabec called the campaigning move hypocritical and disingenuous. Apparently he exploded when he saw the ads. Well, how about ANO’s own punches below the belt over the police reforms; or the party’s use of Babiš’s media outlets to demonise political opponents? Yes please, let’s banish hypocrisy!
The government has held talks over creating a ceiling to thwart gradual automatic increases in the minimum retirement age. Predictably, with local and Senate elections looming, nothing was agreed. Indeed, finance minister Andrej Babiš signalled his opposition prior to the talks, dismissing the Social Democrat proposal as populist.
Of course, the ANO leader is right, though it’s a little rich coming from him. Even so, locking in a retirement age of 65 is undeniably foolhardy, especially since we don’t even know if we’ll be able to afford our pension commitments 30 years down the line. First, the system must be reformed. But the coalition clearly has no appetite for that.