Czech President warns against consumerism

Czech President Vaclav Havel has criticised European efforts to compete with the US economy. During a recent visit to Italy, Mr. Havel also warned against the continuing spread of consumerism. In his opinion, Europe has a chance to inspire the world in other than economic values. He said it was "possible to lead a good life on this planet even when, instead of placing emphasis on creation of profits or growth of gross domestic product, priority is given to values such as the beauty of a country or a house, closeness to fellow beings."