Not pay-grade monkeys

Not pay-grade monkeys
14. července 2016 • 10:18
Czech deputies and senators are certainly no B-leaguers. And anyone thinking that MPs are unable to earn a living doing anything other than sitting in the lower or upper houses of parliament, would be very much mistaken.

Asides from those who entered politics as already wealthy individuals, such as Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Synot owner Ivo Valenta (pictured), last year’s MP income declarations reveal that ANO’s Jaroslav Faltýnek, chairman of the party’s parliamentary caucus, is also a 'millionaire', having received CZK 2.38m in his capacity as an Agrofert board member. And ANO MP David Kasal made about a million as the chief surgeon of a hospital in Chrudim. Additionally, Jiří
Zlatuška took home a CZK 1.7m paycheck for services rendered at Masaryk University. Meanwhile, Social Democrat deputy Jan Birke came in just shy of a million, receiving CZK 960,000 for leading the supervisory board of the Czech Republic-China Chamber. The second job of the last person cited in the above list, namely Birke, is at least in service of the government’s agenda – to help cultivate trade ties with a country high up the Czech Republic’s list of economic partners…

Martin Konvička, former head of the Bloc Against Islam, is facing a lawsuit filed by Brno politician Svatopluk Bartík (Žít Brno). At issue is a Konvička event entitled “Ramadan Czech-style”, and specifically a demonstrative burning of a Koran which formed part of said event. To explain – during the first week of July, anti-Islam activists arranged a week-long celebration of “our cultural traditions” in front of a mosque in Brno. Asides from burning a copy of the Koran, they drank beer, ate goulash, and eyed-up scantily clad females. It probably doesn’t amount to criminal intent, but on the other hand it’s probably about time that Konvička got his comeuppance.

Signed, sealed and delivered. Large shopping centres will have to close their doors during seven national holidays. But we doubt it is the final word – one could write entire books about Czechs’ weaknesses for shopping centres on non-work days. As the Third Commandment states – Sunday should be a day of rest. In neighbouring Germany, for example, the law mandates that Sundays are precisely that. But good luck seeing a step like that passed by this government before the next election…

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