Appraisal of Institutions and Proposed Measures in connection with the August Floods and the Elimination of Their Consequences

42 % of citizens think that damages caused by the floods could have been prevented; on the other hand 44 % believe that these damages were predominantly inevitable. With the exception of the President, whose acts during the period of floods were perceived by the public mainly in a critical manner (62 %), all other bodies, involved in one way or another in activities connected with the flood disaster and in eliminating its consequences, are valued positively with great prevalence.

Evaluation of those, who were physically involved in rescue work and elimination of flood damage, was practically unanimously positive with firemen scoring 98 % of positive opinion, soldiers - 96 %, volunteers 94 % and policemen 93 %. The government actions were also appraised very favourably, (76 %), as were flood committees (69 %), local or municipal authorities (74 %), mayors or chief magistrates (72 %) and local councils (66 %). As to the post-flood measures, which were proposed in the Assembly of Deputies or which were discussed, the public most favourably rated intentions to freeze salaries of public servants (91 %), to cut down on the purchase of fighter planes for the air force (83 %), to increase the excise tax on cigarettes and alcohol (74 %) and to increase taxes of people with the highest income (70 %). On the other hand, a prevailing disagreement was voiced over a possible increase of the VAT rate for food and services from five to seven percent and increasing the excise tax on petrol and diesel.