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HN: Former Prague Mayor pays for his Facebook advertisement

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Prague, Aug 15 (CTK) – Former Prague Mayor Pavel Bem ( Civic Democrats, ODS; 2002-2010) pays for his advertisements on Facebook and he is not alone among Czech politicians before the autumn regional and Senate elections, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes yesterday.
In the past few weeks, Facebook users could read Bem’s opinions about Prague, for instance, that he still supports the idea of Olympic Games in the Czech capital. He also criticised the current Prague management’s ban on Segway two-wheel electric personal transporters without the installation of the respective traffic signs in the centre. Consequently, the ban is not valid yet, he says.
HN writes that Bem is spreading his opinions even to those who have never been interested in him or may not even know him.
Despite his paid “Facebook campaign,” he claims he does not intend to run in any polls and does not plan his political comeback.
“Though I still pay membership fees to the ODS, I am not much interested in politics now,” he told HN, adding that the current times are not suitable for the personalities “who have the courage to change the world.”
He says he is satisfied with his work. He has returned to his original profession of a psychiatrist, teaches at the Prague College of Psychosocial Studies and gives lectures on drug police abroad.
He says he has posted his views on Facebook to critically comment on his successors running the capital.
“I have been watching for six years that the city is not being developed and is stagnating. The official media does not pay attention to the cynical reality of Prague politics at all,” Bem told HN.
Bem refused to say how much he had invested or would invest in his Internet “campaign.” HN points out that it is hard to estimate the price as it depends on several factors, such as the target groups he would like to address.
HN points out that the Prague City Hall has saved 13 billion crowns in its accounts for investments, but is not able to spend them. “No significant new buildings have emerged in six years. There are no prepared investments projects,” Bem said, criticising the current Prague management.
Prague should start investing in traffic infrastructure quickly, mainly in the completion of two orbitals.
He also dismissed the criticism of the overpriced Opencard smart card for Praguers and the construction of the Blanka road tunnel, which was opened four years behind the schedule and whose costs were ten billion crowns higher than planned.
“When looking back at the Bem’s eight years [at the City Hall’d helm], I am actually quite proud of what I was responsible for,” Bem told HN.
($1=24.211 crowns)

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