Czech press survey - April 1


01.04.2014 07:34

Prague - Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka and President Milos Zeman have not been heard much lately and their popularity has increased in opinion polls, but the opposition´s silence does to have the same effect ahead of the EP elections, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Šestý republikový sněm hnutí Starostové a nezávislí (STAN) 28. března v Průhonicích u Prahy. Na snímku prezident Miloš Zeman při svém vystoupení. ČTK Vondrouš Roman

One would even say the less Zeman is heard in public, the better impression he makes. It might be unjust but that is the way of the world, even of the political one, Pesek adds.

Yet this rule need not be generally applicable, he says.

The opposition should, on the contrary, wake up since the popularity of its leaders has been plummeting. The government has been in power for a couple of months and a capable opposition would use it in its favour, Pesek writes.

Though politicians´ popularity standings are in a way superficial, a number of voters really make up their mind in elections instinctively and emotionally. And a couple of elections are to be held this year. The EP ones in less than two months, Pesek concludes.

The approach of Finance Minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babis to politics provokes rightful fears, not only over an apparent conflict of interest, Alexandr Mitrofanov writers in Pravo today.

He recalls that PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has noted that Babis should choose whether he wants to be a politician or a businessman.

Though Babis alone admits a conflict of interest in his case, he has promised not to abuse it. Well, people can trust him or not, Mitrofanov says.

The hopes connected with this new "saviour" (Babis) are slowly turning into a serious concern, Mitrofanov points out.

Unlike various "godfathers" (dubious influential businessmen linked to top politicians) and their aides, Babis does not even hide his contempt of parliamentary democracy. Czechs know such an approach from history very well, Mitrofanov writes, hinting at the country´s totalitarian past.

There are unfortunately no laws that would apply to Czech Communist (KSCM) deputy Marta Semelova as it is hard to officially convict someone of malice and stupidity, Vladimir Kucera writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

He recalls that Semelova, teacher by profession, supports the execution of Czech democratic politician Milada Horakova, sentenced to death in a communist political trial on the basis of fabricated charges in 1950. Semelova argues that Horakova confessed to the crimes and questioned that she was forced to her testimony.

On the other hand, Kucera writes, Semelova has not been forced to her words and she has expressed her views voluntarily. Now she faces a legal complaint for them.

She has protested against it referring to the freedom of speech. Even Nazis could use similar arguments defending their right to deny the Holocaust, Kucera notes.

Yet the main reason why Semelova´s case will be swept under the carpet is the fact that there are no articles of law for malevolence and stupidity. Otherwise, Semelova would have spent the rest of her life behind bars. Since she is full of both, Kucera concludes in MfD.

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