Hackers give Czechs a free online shop

In a "hackathon" on the weekend Czech programmers set up an online sales system for motorway vignettes free of charge. The IT experts' action was aimed at demonstrating how pointless and superfluous a government contract for the shop that was to cost 16 million euros was. The transport minister was promptly dismissed over the incident. Czech media are enthusiastic about this creative form of protest.

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Denik (CZ) /

This is the way to go

Denik is full of praise for the voluntary IT experts:

“One can't but be thrilled. Once again we see that we are not a nation that just enthusiastically accepts everything decided by 'those on high'. When the situation demands it, we don't just have troublemakers on social networks but also people who aren't afraid to actually take things in hand and show that something can be done differently and more effectively. That is exactly the way to make progress. Our country can finally start to bloom, and it doesn't need ministers to do it. So which group of experts is going to get to work on another weekend and show the state how clumsy it is and how expensive its solutions are?”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Hastily put together?

Lidové noviny isn't entirely convinced by the result of the campaign:

“In programming the e-shop the Czechs have once again demonstrated how smart they are. They could have just gone to the pub and, in typical Czech fashion, criticised the overpriced project that was being foisted on the government. Of course, that wouldn't bring a solution any closer. ... The programming marathon is somewhat reminiscent of the 'Z-Actions' when volunteers erected fire stations or cultural centres on weekends, which unfortunately mostly turned out wonky and lopsided. ... Nevertheless, the marathon does show that the state could get some things done faster and cheaper. And that's not nothing.”