[EDITORIALS]The aftermath of capital ruling

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[EDITORIALS]The aftermath of capital ruling

The confusion and the bad side effects created by the attempt to relocate the capital and the Constitutional Court’s decision to block the move have given us a good lesson. We are reminded that large-scale national projects that will influence the nation’s future and economy shouldn’t be swayed by political interest.
In the past year, we saw an enormous waste of national power and a huge loss of financial resources. Outside of the losses from divided national opinion and political conflict among the public, a large amount of money and manpower were poured into related projects.
Real estate prices in Chungcheong provinces rode a roller coaster and construction enjoyed a brief boom. The local economy and residents’ lives were affected. With the court’s decision, we can prevent having further losses, but the expenses to date can’t be dismissed as negligible.
Such a trial-and-error process shouldn’t be repeated again. The political community and the government are studying plans to support the Chungcheong provinces. Various ideas, including moving some government offices there and creating a business town in Geongju-Yeongi, are being considered.
Plans for comforting the Chungcheong residents and promoting regional development are necessary, but they shouldn’t be manipulated according to political interests. Nor should they be short-term plans to pander to the public.
We have to consider which is the best way to promote regional development, improve the quality of residents’ lives and contribute to the balanced development of the region. One way to do this is to organize a task force composed of experts from various fields and let it produce a master plan.
The master plan will include: examinations on the economic feasibility of the projects; whether they will contribute to balanced development of the territory and improve national competitiveness; their order of priorities, and the means of providing financial resources.
If the governing and opposition parties collude and present a political plan, disregarding the lesson we learned from the Saemangeum project, the failure of such a project will be evident. Even if it takes time, the government must start from square one and study plans for using the site that was to host a new capital.
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