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In Kafka’s The Castle, officials from the 'castle' go to extraordinary lengths to conceal their presence in the village, where those who rely on their administration live. Meetings with petitioners are held in the middle of the night, and so sensitive are the officials to the possibility of being confronted by a villager that they hide in their rooms at the village’s inn until the right moment to dash out to their carriage and depart.
New rules aimed at preventing civil servants from speaking to the media without ministers’ approval have been strongly criticised. They follow a drive to gag charities receiving public funding.