The Swiss town of Davos has been besieged by the global economic elite. While 1,200 renowned economists and heads of state decide the fate of the world, the Slovak government is burying its head in the sand, and does not have a single representative at Davos.
Instead, the Fico cabinet sees more sense in waging a skirmish with the EC over emissions limits, by way of protecting the short-term interests of polluters. In Davos, meanwhile, the main topic is climate change. If the Slovak government is dismayed now by tighter limits from Brussels, imagine its response in a few years to the even tighter restrictions being discussed at Davos.
Davos may not be the Oracle at Delphi, but it would not hurt Slovakia to have a good idea of what is being discussed there. Former Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš used to attend and talk about the knowledge-based economy because he realized that global manufacturers in a few years would be focusing on India, China and Africa. Thanks to these efforts Slovakia managed to attract investments with greater shares of R&D.
Since elections, however, Slovakia has preferred to live its own life. The PM claims that profit is bad, that the state makes the best owner, and that consumer choice should be regulated. Rather than listening to views on global warning and trying to work out how Slovakia might benefit, he prefers to visit the Great Socialist People's Republic of Libya. He evidently thinks that Davos is too far.
29. Jan 2007 at 0:00