Czech press survey - April 2


02.04.2014 07:27

Prague - A super strong tandem composed of President Milos Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis, leader of ANO movement, is evidently being established in Czech politics, Josef Kopecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).


Ilustrační foto - Prezident Miloš Zeman (vpředu vpravo) jmenoval 29. ledna na Pražském hradě Andreje Babiše (vpředu vlevo) ministrem financí. ČTK Vondrouš Roman

This is no good news for Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) as Zeman and Babis share the same political interest, Kopecky writes.

For Babis, Sobotka is the last political barrier on his ascent to the top of power hierarchy, he adds.

For Zeman, Sobotka is a man he would rather have never appointed as prime minister, Kopecky writes.

Sobotka cannot dismiss Babis from the government as this would mean his own end as prime minister. Besides, there would be the prospect that Zeman might appoint Babis as his successor or another presidential government might be formed, he adds.

The move would perhaps provoke early elections in which ANO could send the CSSD into oblivion, Kopecky writes.

Andrej Babis really is a businessman, Jiri Pehe writes in Pravo, commenting on Sobotka's having said that Babis should make a choice between politics and business.

If someone owns a multi billion business empire, such a person de facto controls it, Pehe writes.

As long as Babis does not admit this, his presence in politics must be considered a sort of business, too, he adds.

Babis claims that as ANO leader he only controls it, although in reality, he owns it. As its owner, he de facto conducts business with it in politics, Pehe writes.

So far, his business has elevated him to the post of finance minister in which he should supervise the activities of his Agrofert business empire that he does not allegedly control, but he only owns it, he adds.

Ingeborg Graessle, member of the EP control budgetary committee, should only be thanked for having told the truth, Pehe writes, alluding to her recent statement while on a visit to the Czech Republic that Babis as minister should give up the companies he owns.

Andrej Kiska's triumph in Slovakia was helped by an ideal combination of circumstances: the feeling that Prime Minister Robert Fico's power has grown too much and the animosity Fico has provoked in the public, Petr Pesek writes in Lidove noviny (LN), returning to the Slovak presidential elections won by Kiska who defeated Fico.

Fico is able to muster a large support, but the army of his opponents is still somewhat bigger, Pesek writes.

In parliamentary elections, this is no major problem, which was apparent in the first round of the ballot, he adds.

However, in the runoff vote, there was the choice of a lesser evil and Kiska, who is not a professional politician, seemed to embody this, Pesek writes.

Everyone saw something different in him: a philanthropist (a sort of ombudsman), a successful businessman (a good manager), a selfmademan (he is independent) and, above all, a rival of Fico, he adds.

As there was the inability of the right-wing opposition to generate a strong and sufficiently attractive candidate, the result was obvious, Pesek writes.

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