October 2012

When will Slovak constitutional officials for 700 EUROS?
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Process in Kovačica
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Master of Magic Mysticism
He came from a very modest family background

Editorial
When will Slovak constitutional officials for 700 EUROS?
According to the latest statistics, in Slovakia, there are almost 700 thousand people living at the edge of poverty and many of them have to live just from 300 Euro per month. More than a half of working Slovaks earn less than 500 Euro per month. These horrible findings just prove than Slovakia has been declining within the European Union and that the real standard of living of majority of Slovaks continuously decreases every year.
In spite of that, Slovak politicians claim that Slovakia belongs to the group of the EU countries with the greatest ground domestic product (GDP). In fact, however, the level of economic growth decreases. Although the current GDP is at the level of two percent, a level of inflation (increase of prices), which is the most important factor of the standard of living and the value of money, is twice higher than the growth of GDP. In other words, due to increasing prices, Slovaks can afford less for the money they earn. The real value of money is decreasing and living costs are, on the contrary, higher every year. Many Slovaks have to have two or three jobs to cope and pay loans or mortgages.
Let us imagine the situation that our ministers, MPs and other constitutional officials would have average gross salaries of a Slovak teacher, a nurse, a priest or a police officer. They would not have monthly salaried at the level of 3300- 3700 Euros without bonuses and lump sum compensation but they would get just between 500 and 800 Euros. How would they live and work? For example, the minister of finances, Peter Kažimír who comes from the teacher’s family. Let us imagine he in the situation that he had to organize a Christmas sale and he had to sell drawings or paintings of his clerks and other hand- made things to raise money for purchasing for example stationeries and software for his office. Alternatively, he had to buy “working and methodological tools” from their salaries as many teachers do. On the other hand, he had to pay for his business trips and commuting to work. Would Mister Minister do that? Would he commute? Let us imagine a secretary or minister’s subordinates as they “beg” for money from the citizens for so- called office voluntary contribution from which they would buy toilet paper, soaps, towels… Isn’t it humiliating? However, they do not have to do that!
It is interesting that in Slovakia, almost everyone is searching for a sponsor and almost everyone begs everywhere, but not clerks, ministers, MPs, leaders of counties, mayors of bigger cities and municipalities or a prime minister or president who both get enormous money. No, I do not intend to criticize or devaluate importance of their functions and social status. On the contrary. I just want to notice how these public and constitutional officials always talking about saving money and lack of funds and they should think about their work performance. They should either decrease their salaries or leave their posts for insufficient performance. They manage Slovakia, its regions; they influence citizens´ lives and their standard of living. The level of costs for wages and the performance of the function are many times higher than in case of teachers, nurses, doctors or priests. In addition, what are the work results of their eight- hour working time according to the Labour Code? Their overheads are paid from the national, regional or municipal budgets, their salaries are their net profit. However, we pay them so that they could tell us about the crisis, saving money, increase in taxes or for that they cared for the prosperity of the country and its citizens? What is then their economic importance and contribution to the country? Do they achieve profit or loss? Who will carry out a credible audit there? Do they provide any material guarantee for their “political and executive decisions”?
It is interesting that since 1989 no government has been so courageous to establish state production enterprises which within the socially orientated market economy (according to the Constitution of the SR) would produce and employ people, would cooperate with small and medium enterprises in Slovakia and thus their production would compete cheap and poor- quality import. It seems to be better to borrow money and sell bonds for the national overheads and salaries of the public sector that will be paid by all the citizens than decrease the debt of the country by income from the sales of domestic production. They find it better to provide tax stimuli and subsidies to 30- 40 selected firms that will export majority of their income from Slovakia than support the crowds of self- employed people and smaller producers using the same means. Why do we need such ministers and clerks that are unable to assure sharp increase in taxes from added value (It is only at the level of 30%) or pass the law which would define, for example, an unpaid invoice as a crime as it is in case of unpaid wages? If Slovakia has almost 350 thousand clerks in the public service (They cost 3.5 billion Euros a year), then it means that our country has still enough money to be used in different way, for example to increase salaries of teachers, doctors and nurses.
I admire the courage of Martin Schulz, a President of the European Parliament, who in the Slovak Parliament recently thanked Slovak citizens for their sufferings, as they are “sympathetic with Europe” and support the bail- out fund for the Euro zone. Paradoxically, it is more important to this former book-seller and present social democrat further debts of Slovakia and consequent decrease in Slovak standard of living than establishing healthy economic order in the European Union and in Slovakia. Everyone knows that living in debts exploits, that a balanced or surplus national budget is a proof of the right economy in the country. Neither Robert Fico nor his economic ministers are willing to confess that they have no economic vision and conception for Slovakia. Otherwise, they would be already talking about it. They do not want to confess that Slovaks have to pay 700 million Euros to the European bail- out fund and that it is the real reason why the government does not want to increase significantly the salaries of teachers, doctors and nurses. Slovakia serves the European bail out fund. It is still not the state for it is all the people but for privileged ones. In addition, there is a question arising: What does “European solidarity” and the European bail out fund actually give to Slovaks? On the other hand, do they have to suffer for those who in Brussels get a few thousand euros salaries and other bonuses and benefits?
Mgr. Róbert Matejovič, an editor -in -chief           
 
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