President-elect Petr Pavel visited Aš as part of his visit to the Karlovy Vary Region, February 15, 2023.
Aš – The newly elected president Petr Pavel arrived today shortly before 10:00 a.m. at the municipal office in Aš in Chebsko. He thus began a two-day visit to the Karlovy Vary region, which is his first major trip to the regions since his election in January. Pavel arrived in Aš with his wife Eva, accompanied by three cars. Several people greeted them in front of the town hall. The arrival was supervised by policemen in uniforms and plainclothes. Pavel greeted the people and journalists present and welcomed the city management.
Photo gallery: President-elect Petr Pavel
The management of the town hall talked with Pavel about the social situation, the labor market or the availability of medical care. Mayor Vítězslav Kokoř (ANO) presented him with Aš's intention to give the Aš region a tax advantage. “Ašsk's problem is that we face competition here with three times the wages in Germany. Today, services are disappearing here, there are no restaurants. People who work in Germany are losing their integrity with the city, and we need human resources here in the city,” said the mayor. “We need some other tool than subsidies, subsidies will not bring us doctors, teachers and other professions,” he added. The mayor also invited Pavel to Aš in August to celebrate the Bavarian-Czech friendship weeks.
Wages in the Karlovy Vary region are the lowest in the country. The average gross monthly salary in the third quarter of last year reached almost 35,000 crowns and was behind the national average by about 4,900 crowns, and behind Prague with the highest earnings by 13,700 crowns. With a rate of 4.5 percent, unemployment in the region in January was the fourth worst in the republic after the Ústí Region, Moravian-Silesian Region and South Moravian Region.
After the meeting in Aša, Pavel will continue to Cheb, where he will visit the Klubíčko maternity center. He will also go to one of the businesses in the Cheb Industrial Park, where he will meet with entrepreneurs and company representatives. They will stop at the BWI company, which has been producing shock absorbers and brakes for cars near Cheb since 2016. The company has Chinese owners. Pavel also stops at the town hall in Sokolov. In Karlovy Vary, he will meet with representatives of the region and the city. He should also start the hockey match between HC Energie and Sparta Praha. At the end of the first day of the visit, he will meet citizens in the regional library.
Shortly after his victory in the second round of the presidential election, Pavel said that he would first like to visit the regions where his opponent Andrej Babiš received more support. In the Karlovy Vary region, Pavel won 49 percent of the vote, while Babiš received 51 percent.
By visiting the Karlovy Vary region, Pavel wants to get to know more deeply the problems in the regions, which are collectively referred to as structurally disabled. They have in common the consequences of coal mining, but also a lower level of education or wages. He wants to know where people and mayors see the main problems.
Pavel was elected president in the second round of direct elections, which took place on January 27 and 28. Paul's inauguration is planned for March 9.