Prague, Sept 16 (CTK) – One Czech state agency is dwindling, another is wasting money, Martin Zverina writes in daily Lidove noviny on Friday about the Foreign Ministry lacking money for the Czech Centres and the botched promotion campaign of the country by the Regional Development Ministry.
The Czech Centres are a subsidised organisation of the Foreign Ministry. Their task is to promote the country abroad.
Currently, they are in 22 countries, Zverina writes.
He writes that the Foreign Ministry has long dealt with the lack of money making cuts in the budget or by moving the centres to embassies.
Most recently it has been considered to turn the Czech Centres into franchises, Zverina writes and says this would put the Czech Republic into an awkward situation.
It would be hardly possible to dictate to an expatriate grouping what it may and what it may not organise if it pays for its activities by itself and the Czech Republic contributes nothing at all to its activities, Zverina writes.
The Czech Republic either wants and needs the Czech centres, in which case the ministry should find money for their operation, or it is a redundant institution and it will do no harm if they are closed, Zverina writes.
Surprisingly, there is another promotional institution, which evidently has enough money because it has published awkward brochures full of factual mistakes which are to advertise travelling along the Czech Republic, Zverina writes.
He adds that the institution is the CzechTourism agency which falls under the Regional Development Ministry.
The question arises as to whether the means spent on such promotion are proportional to the results and whether it would not be better to abolish CzechTourism rather than the Czech Centres.
The Czech Centres have definitely been a more cultivated representative of the country and its effectivity in catching people’s interest has been greater than that of CzechTourism.
Any decision requires political will to change something. This also applies to saying that the Czech Centres will either be preserved or abolished. But the current establishment is avoiding making the decision, Zverina writes.