Czech choice of EU commissioner is farce, disgrace - opposition


16.07.2014 13:36

Prague - The Czech opposition parties today criticised the centre-left government parties´ failure to choose a candidate for Czech EU commissioner and said Prague has missed the right moment and it will be left with a less important EC seat as a result.


Místopředseda TOP 09 Miroslav Kalousek hovoří 15. července na mimořádné schůzi Poslanecké sněmovny v Praze. ČTK Šimánek Vít

Representatives of the rightist Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09 as well as the Communists (KSCM) and the Dawn of Direct Democracy labelled the Czech choice of the EU commissioner as a farce and disgrace.

The governing Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) have repeatedly failed to reach consensus on the issue. Their latest talks on Tuesday evening ended inconclusively as well.

"It is too late now, as the strong portfolios are already being divided. The prime minister is going to seek advice [in Brussels] without proposing a candidate´s name. He will wait for what the EC president will offer to him," TOP 09 deputy chairman Marek Zenisek said.

ODS chairman Petr Fiala said the government coalition cares about lucrative posts for governing parties´ members rather than people´s interests.

"The government should have decided long time ago what EC portfolio the Czech Republic seeks and it should have chosen a suitable candidate accordingly," Fiala said.

In the present situation, Prague will have to satisfy itself with what will be left for it, Fiala added.

Eva Kasova, the KSCM´s candidate for a senator, said the dispute between the CSSD and ANO over the EC nomination is a disgrace to the Czech Republic abroad.

"One can say EC President [Jean-Claude] Juncker will finally choose [a Czech commissioner] by himself. I think this is a very sad result of the Czech government representatives´ work," Kasova said.

Dawn of Direct Democracy chairman Tomio Okamura spoke about the government´s failure.

"It is a ceaseless farce. While they are disputing, the most important European ministries have been divided among other countries. Once again we will play the last fiddle in the EU, without the least chance to influence anything," Okamura said.

ODS MEP Jan Zahradil sarcastically "hailed" the government´s summer theatre performance with an unspecified number of sequels.

He especially praised the performance of Pavel Telicka as "the loser of the decade."

ANO originally presented Telicka, a MEP and former lobbyist, as its candidate for EU commissioner, but most recently it started promoting Local Development Minister Vera Jourova to the post.

Zahradil ironically mentioned the fact that Telicka was stripped of the EC seat for the second time.

In 2004, he held the post shortly but he was soon replaced by the then outgoing Czech prime minister Vladimir Spidla.

The CSSD´s candidate is former finance minister Pavel Mertlik. The smallest government partner, the KDU-CSL, promotes Petr Blizkovsky.

Sobotka said on Tuesday wants to discuss the issue with Juncker in Brussels today.

The Czech Coalition Council will resume the talks on Monday.

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