After reading the quote of the week in the June 7-13th edition of your newsapaer I felt it was impossible not to reply.
As a trained economist (I have worked for Barclays de Zwoete and Citibank in London) I find the current government's understanding of taxes somewhat puzzling.
The government must understand that there is much evidence from around the world that the lower taxes are, the more people, companies and other institutions are willing to pay. The current government have been compaining ever since they took office that they do not have enough money for the state budget. This is simply because it is a national sport not to pay one's taxes or rather avoid paying so much tax because the current rates are so ludicriously high. If they (the present government) wish to be elected again, they must sit down in parliament and pass a bill reducing the amount of taxes people, institituions and companies pay, which could be achieved in a month if the political will were there.
Secondly, Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda's election contract with the Slovak people that salaries would double within one year is not going to happen. Dzurinda's statement was nothing more than a hollow campaign pledge which he knew he could not make good on. What difference then is there between Dzurinda and Vladimír Mečiar? Prices are rising all around us and wages are decling in relative terms, so if Dzurinda wishes to be elected again he must do something about it now, not six months before the next election. Bribing the electorate can only work for so long. It would be even more beneficial if he were to make a public apology to the nation about this blatant election lie.
Finally, the good ordinary working people of this country who generate its wealth deserve a better deal. It is time for the current government to think the unthinkable, to get tough on crime and the causes of crime and realise that if they wish to remain in office, honesty to people is first and paramount. I believe they think they can fool the people all of the time, but as Abraham Lincoln said " You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." If Dzurinda and his colleagues wish to remain in office they must remember it is the good people of Slovakia that have put him where he and his colleagues are and that they must give the people an opportunity to prosper.
21. Jun 1999 at 0:00