About whether the Old world to overcome the consequences of the disaster and what paths lead to salvation, our correspondent asked a well-known Czech politician Jan Mládek. He once worked as the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic, head of the Ministry of agriculture, was the Minister of industry and trade. Now – Director of the Institute of applied Economics.

Tell me, Mr. mládek, don’t you think it strange that since the emergence of official information about the coronavirus passed already half a year, and the world is still confused: what is this attack and how to fight it?

Jan mládek: I’ll tell you a story that is very revealing in regard to your question. During the Second world war one of the American magazines published an article of a certain author who accurately described the details of creating a nuclear weapon, that is actually revealed the secrets of the top secret Manhattan project. The secret service grabbed her head. What to do? How it got leaked? However, when the author was arrested, very soon it turned out that he knows nothing, and all that is written is fruit of his imagination. First, they wanted to withdraw the circulation of this journal and destroy it. But on reflection, I realized that this is what will draw attention to the secret theme. Even then, nuclear project were interested in exploration in many countries. A wise man suggested the following: let’s invite dozens of writers working in the genre of science-fiction, order them a lot of articles with various crazy ideas. And thus dezavuiruya the publication.

Here’s a smart move up then the Americans. What I said? Today to hide the truth is much easier because there is the Internet where thrown a million different stories. And even if you do it, and without wishing you always enough. Somewhere out there lurks true, but try to find her in this ocean of rumors, speculation, outright lies, half-truths, myths, “peer review”… This operation no need to even pay, you just push the hills, the snow, the further he will roll himself, turning into a big ball.

I Agree. In this world where everyone fancies himself an “expert”, it is very easy to bury the truth. And yet, if you don’t mind, let’s continue the theme. To all this history on hand?

Jan mládek: When in the middle of “zero” I was Minister of agriculture, the outbreak of avian flu. For me it was a big headache: what to do? The panic was enormous: today, the flu in birds, and tomorrow he will go to man. Hence, it is necessary, yet late, to destroy all poultry, including chickens, ducks, turkeys.

Began this plague, supposedly in the Eastern part of Turkey, then moved to the West, covered Bulgaria, went up the Danube. And then immediately jumped to the North of Herm��research Institute, the center found on the island of rügen in the Baltic sea. Then I thought: something’s not right here.

I got a call from the Prime Minister: “You have to negotiate with the Minister of defence, to connect the army, the soldiers let them gather everywhere, dead birds and bury them. MS Merkel this order, the Bundeswehr has already given. And if the Germans do it, then we go.”

From one of the Czech regions also received information, saw the dead swans. I immediately went there. Regional veterinarian I confirmed in dead birds discovered the bird flu virus. Unpleasant. But me and there is not the feeling that something in all of this is suspicious. I said, “And last year found the dead swans”? “Yes. But then one didn’t go through it”. – “And earlier”? – “And had also been there”. It turned out that we have long lived with the threat of bird flu, but did not know about it.

after Analyzing the whole picture, I came to the conclusion that there are certain forces who deliberately kindle passion. We are in the mass killing and burning of birds on the farm, spending a lot of money on the purchase of medicines. And they artificially created a panic and profited from it.

Who is “they”?

Jan mládek: Good question. Only one thing is certain: a large pharmaceutical company then earned a lot of money.

And what did you do? Banned the mass slaughter of birds?

Jan mládek: Completely I couldn’t stop him, we had to abide by the rules, the same for EU countries. But I tried to make excessive enthusiasm in this matter no one showed. For example, I had Breakfast in front of the cameras with head of the Association of Czech farmers Ian Vilaboy, and he defiantly ordered the chicken. To show people: don’t be afraid.

And I must say, it helped. The demand for poultry in the Czech Republic has not fallen, but here in Italy to keep the panic could not be there, people just stopped buying chickens. Their farmers have suffered huge losses.

Then there was the swine flu. And also all around again.

Some people from pharmaceutical companies – the worst arms dealers. The latter do not hide their business, but “some” representatives of the pharmaceutical industry disguised as “respectable monks”.

Interesting version. But I want to remind you about those unfortunates who have already died from coronavirus, and those who today are in intensive care. They are in fact many thousands.

Jan mládek: I’m not saying that the problem with the virus does not exist, that it is all invented by someone. But there remains too many questions. For example, how many real victims from Covid-19? No one knows. Because different countries consider different things.

Two years ago during the flu epidemic in the Czech Republic were killed and a half thousand people. That is five times more than died now. And no��which there was no panic.

Or let us remember the excitement that early in the epidemic were raised around the ventilator. And now it turns out that they are not a panacea and, moreover, the doctors themselves admit that these devices are in some cases caused complications of the disease. But somebody cashed in on this.

There is another aspect, which does not mention “the experts”. Perhaps this whole mess is beneficial to those forces that would like to write under it the consequences of the crisis in 2009.

But do these effects still relevant?

Jan mládek: Yes, technically the theme seems to be long closed, but many of the problems have gone “under the carpet”. Remember, where Mrs Merkel wants to send most of the money earmarked for the restoration of the economy?

as far As I know, of the 750 billion Euro 300 it intends to highlight Italy and Spain.

Jan mládek: Right. But, ostensibly, to save the Italian economy, it is, in fact, supports the same a soap bubble, which then led to the collapse, lends to businesses that will never return the money. However, the bubble inevitably had to burst.

Italy is the EU’s biggest headache. In principle, the Germans in the North: Milan, Turin… the rest of the boot is not interesting. But Italy will have to save. It’s still a country-founder of the European Union. And if it collapses, it will fall and the whole of the EU.

I think the Germans have about Italy with mixed feelings. On this occasion I want to recall an American joke: “Mixed feelings is when your mother – in-law crashes on your new Jaguar from the cliff into the sea.”

the Spanish problem, other. But also very painful.

getting Back to your joke that mean the Germans, feeling uneasy attitude to its EU partners?

Jan mládek: There is a lot of people wondering: good or bad for the EU for Germany? Yes, it is beneficial for German firms, because they are interested in such a large market. But this does not mean that it is good for German taxpayers. Today, Germany is sponsoring the Madrid and Rome. That’s fine as long as there is the Eurozone. But if it will fall apart.

And it may fall apart?

Jan mládek: Nothing can be excluded. A common currency is a political and economic project. Not a technical one. But the problem is that people from different European countries less and less agree with the idea of a single state.

Strange, I thought that, on the contrary, more and more… Because there are many important arguments in favor of the merger. What happens?

Jan mládek: One explanation for the following. It was announced at the conference in Poland, the President of the Italian Senate. Time in different areas flows differently. In the economy – fast!ro. In financial matters even faster. Political – slower. Yes, said the politician, we all need integration, but, for example, the Italians, so they become accustomed to the idea of a common home, it will take another 50 years.

What are the main challenges for the EU identified this crisis? Perhaps the answer is obvious: the fragmentation of all States? Each country, as it turned out, was alive by itself…

Jan mládek: Every man for himself – Yes. And the Commission showed little initiative, too, yeah. In Brussels, referring to the lack of competence in the field of health. However, we know that just in these critical moments, leaders take responsibility for decisions. Perhaps the problem is just the selection of those persons representing the state in the governing body of the EU.

I also thought that the head of the Commonwealth sometimes people find themselves not that incompetent, but grey, no charisma and no leadership qualities.

Jan mládek: I wouldn’t call Ursula von der Leyen, who now heads the European Commission, a gray mouse, but also a political leader it is also considered impossible. It is the result of compromise, the child of European bureaucracy.

Europe is designed so that leaders needed only in emergency situations, at other times everything works as if by itself, as long-routine.

do you think the EU will be stronger or weaker after the pandemic? Or put the question another way: are today’s politicians to learn from the crises?

Jan mládek: In my opinion, you can’t say “become stronger.” Rather call a spade a spade: or it becomes weaker, passing through severe trials, or even it may result in the loss of some members. Although the Union itself, of course, remain.

Then it’s time to ask you about the UK. What happens to the process of leaving the “family”? He continues or in connection with the pandemic, suspended?

Jan mládek: There here’s what happened. The people responsible for the negotiations, including the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is sick. Two months the deal was in place. The only thing they announced is that the form of divorce does not suit them. Now we only know one thing: the end of the year, almost all relations with the EU remain in force. It’s also possible that this “temporary transition period” can take a long time. Although not in favour of the British Prime Minister, who promised to resolve the issue quickly.

as for Brussels, there are more than conscious of the fact that the example of Britain was not contagious to others. It is important now to demonstrate to all members of the Commonwealth the following: the British in the case of care will receive many problems, and we just won. Although, in fact, far from it. For example, d��I Economics Brexit means serious consequences.

will the crisis the ratio of EU to migration policy? What is the probability that the Old world will twine itself by a fence that prevents the appearance of undesirable guests.

Jan mládek: Such a fence is already under construction. But only the political elite’s hypocrisy, does not want to admit it. And many States individually are also trying to solve this problem. For Example, Hungary. Or Denmark. You know that Denmark three years ago was surrounded by a fence yourself? However, the authorities explained that the desire to protect the country from the plague, affecting wild boars.

Europe is designed so that our liberals want to look nice and fluffy, and at the same time fear the arrival of new migrants, well aware what that means.

If to speak about prospects of economic recovery, social infrastructure, transport, then you are an optimist or a pessimist?

Jan mládek: we Have a lot will depend on when and how to open the Schengen area, that is, the return the opportunity for the free movement of goods and citizens.

Merkel, promising to send 30 percent of all financial aid to Italy and Spain, thereby indirectly pointed out where the sore spots. But it can also be a common problem, as other countries, for example, disciplined Czech Republic will Express dissatisfaction with this unfair distribution of funds.

In principle, I am optimistic. I see no reason that would prevent to repair it. We have the experience, I mean the period from 1918 to 1920, when it created Czechoslovakia and Europe was attacked by the virus “Spanish flu”. Then it was much worse. But we managed, rapid economic growth, which lasted until the crisis of 1929.

Technical problems such as the recovery partnership, be solved quite easily. It is much harder to regain the demand. People are in a state of fear. They are afraid to make any expensive purchases will be to avoid travel, treatment in the resorts. But it will be to save money for a rainy day – it is evident in the deposits on accounts of our banks. Significantly narrowed the possibility to spend: there are no football matches, festivals, concerts, tours, reduced the number of people wishing to walk to the restaurant. These consequences of the crisis, which in the minds of people may just be very slow down the process of recovery.

Quickly will not. Even if everything is closed opens, people will not run to spend your money, it will take time to ease the fear.

Angela Merkel, as you know, announced his resignation as Chancellor next year. And what about Germany then?

Jan mládek: Hard to say. She called his possible successor, which failed all that �� ожно you can. In politics the most important thing – to come on time. Not earlier and not later, and at the right time. Now all the other applicants for the position of Chancellor is afraid to come out, not to get on the head. And in addition, difficult environment, no one knows how long there will be a drop, how deep it is, what consequences it will lead.

Now everything is in place. Not paid the mortgage loans. Bankruptcy is prohibited. The courts are not doing enough. But sooner or later it will begin to move – and then many things will become clear.