Senator Factory and Mayor: For 350 citizens we have 35 Ukrainians in the village, you will already feel it. The Russians go there as a pantry


Are you cutting off Russian gas and oil supplies?

vote: 40238 people

As a cross-border entrepreneur, what do you think of the current rise in energy prices and other things?

At first there was no wood, now it’s expensive again. It’s expensive gas. Fortunately, we heat with wood waste. We only use gas when something goes down as a backup source. If we were addicted to gas, it would be very bad. Of course, we also feel the rise in electricity prices. In our country, it is given by wood, the price of which continues to rise. We manufacture hardwood toys. When the softwood was felled, no one felled the hardwood. During the crisis with the beetle – the bark beetle – there were not even hardwoods. There was no one to cut it down, everyone was cutting down trees infested with bark beetles. And now everything has blown up again. Complex, difficult era, with energies, matter. This is our third year.

What should be done about this? Respectively, what can the government do with this price increase?

The causes are global. For example, we take hardwood – beech, maple, hornbeam – from Slovakia, South Moravia, partly here from the adjacent part of Poland, we are on the borders with Poland, the Jizera Mountains, the Giant Mountains . The increase is even without the crisis with the war in Ukraine. It’s still going up. I don’t think the government will do much about it. It’s about surviving, surviving this time.

When you talk about wood, your factory is actually surrounded by forests…

Some time ago many wondered and said, you have enough wood. But to us it was worthless spruce wood infested with bark beetles. Everyone was reducing the calamity and no one had time for hardwood. There is a shortage of this wood, it has been recorded for two or three years. Now the electricity. We fall more and more into it. We will see what the end customer bites. But I don’t think the government will do much about it.

As an entrepreneur, do you feel the war unfolding to the east of us?

We did not manage Russia or Ukraine, we did not trade with them. I’m still mayor here in Albrechtice in the Jizera mountains. Of course, we take care of the refugees for schools, kindergartens, transport to school. We have a full school, we have to take them to school in a nearby town. We now have 35, with a total population of 350. We felt that.

So you mainly deal with war refugees, accommodation, etc., as mayor?

We are always on our guard. Now thirty refugees have been brought to the neighboring village and the village has to take care of them. Food. The poor people were without anything, so the village had to start.

The hot phase of the war in Ukraine has been going on since February 24, and I also think from your responses to ParlamentníchListů.cz questionnaires on this topic that you clearly see the situation as Russian aggression and that you support Ukraine. .

The Russians violated the status quo. They made a clear commitment with other powers that Ukraine renounce nuclear weapons and guarantee its borders. We see how Russia deals with Georgia, in Transnistria, what it did with Luhansk and Donetsk. It goes there like a pantry. When it comes to them, they will rob Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk. Despite all the bad things, if Ukraine succeeds, a nation will be born to them. They know each other, cling to each other and are able to fight for their condition. This will hopefully be positive for Ukrainians. Ukrainians have shown that they are capable of fighting for their state. I cross my fingers for them. The Russians have no business there.

Is our support enough? I don’t mean that our municipalities and our cities are dealing with refugees, but from the point of view of the West as a whole. Specifically, military aid. Ukraine is under attack, it must defend itself against aggression and it must also have something…

The Czech Republic are really trying to do what they can. Americans and Brits probably too. Then there are countries like Hungary, Germany also at first didn’t know if it was better to get Russian gas or help Ukraine. They could add more. However, there are countries that are really great. Poles, Czechs, Slovaks. I sit on the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security, and that is where we meet. So I see that there are really big differences between Western countries. But certainly more could be done for Ukrainians.

Mainly Ukrainians come to us now. Will it be used in the Czech labor market?

We make toys. We have a lot of working-age women who have families. If they don’t have facilities, kindergartens, schools and don’t have childcare, Czech mothers struggle. Ukrainians who fled here until they solve the attendance of children in kindergarten and school and do not have a grandmother with them, so I do not know how they will work in the market work. I know what it is. It will be difficult for them to be included in the work process in the Czech Republic. Single mothers with two children, husband in Ukraine. Now work, go to work.

And the children?

As quickly as we could, we managed to ensure school attendance, for example, only in the morning. She’s not even a school assistant, but more of a kind of rehearsal class. They come home at one o’clock in the afternoon, and the mothers do it when they work. They can help each other in the community. If they want to work in tourism in Jizerky, there is now a difficult low season. It will start moving in May, and in the summer they will find a better place to use it.

In our factory, we have long employed the majority of mothers in the region. There are seventy, eighty percent women in the company. So I know the problems of mom, babysitting, breastfeeding, holidays. And now consider that two children, with no background, fled Ukraine. They will have a hard time managing it. It’s about having more permanent housing, so that the children go in the group and have a more normal diet. The guys will continue to be in Ukraine.

Yes. Who knows how long the war will last…

Rather, it will be years. Even if there is a truce, it is difficult to negotiate one with Russia. He will only pay if the Russian wants him. There will always be tensions at these borders that will be created in some way.

It is difficult to guess how the war will end. Once Putin walked up to her, she probably couldn’t back down until she said something…

Ukrainians have the advantage of really fighting for their own existence so as not to be enslaved. It gives them strength. Knowing that they are at home does not fight in Russia. They have the moral right and the power to fight it. Of course with the support of Western countries. I cross my fingers for them. It will be a conflict for years.

I will also ask what is happening in the Senate of the Czech Republic, the senators on Wednesday called the pardon of the President of the Republic for the head of the forest administration of Lány, Miloš Balák, unacceptable. The club of senators ODS and TOP 09 even proposed that the senators call on Miloš Zeman to abdicate, which was ultimately not accepted. How do you see this case?

He breaks all the rules with grace. I think that’s a thing of the past. We return to Austria-Hungary. If the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate wish to maintain the institute of grace, then with the countersignature of the Prime Minister, the President of the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate. Or cancel them altogether. Today there is a legal system and it should work without these imperial pardons. I had no problem with this resolution, in the end a compromise was chosen. But all moral boundaries have been crossed. What people should think.

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author: Oldrich Szaban

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