Czech press survey - April 25


25.04.2014 08:09

Prague - The decision of Social Democrat (CSSD) Michal Hasek to give up his seat in Czech parliament is a preparation for retaliation rather than his defeat, Vaclav Dolejsi writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) about the rival of CSSD leader and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.


Předseda Bohuslav Sobotka (vpravo) a Michal Hašek na schůzi ústředního výkonného výboru ČSSD, která se konala 10. listopadu v Praze. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Hasek was humiliated and ousted from the CSSD leadership after his botched attempt at grasping power in the party after the election last autumn. Now he gave in to the demand that CSSD regional governors should not be a lower house deputy at the same time, Dolejsi notes.

Being the South Moravian governor and not an MP anymore, Hasek is not obliged to at least formally support Sobotka in the lower house of parliament, Dolejsi writes.

He says Hasek can focus on keeping the post of the head of the regional governors.

The 38-year-old Hasek has been longing for various posts. In the current situation, he may attack Sobotka in late May after the results of the election to the European Parliament are known, Dolejsi writes.

Paradoxically, the ambitious Hasek may be more dangerous for Sobotka outside parliament, Dolejsi says.

The fight of the CSSD regional governors who have a seat in the Chamber of Deputies will in fact show whether Sobotka´s leadership has the party under control, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo.

On Thursday, Karlovy Vary Region´s Governor Josef Novotny (CSSD) refused to give up his MP´s mandate. Michal Hasek gave it up on Wednesday and Vysocina Governor Jiri Behounek is to announce his decision today.

After the police accusation of CSSD mayor of Usti nad Labem and his deputy earlier this week, one can ask if there is still any CSSD mayor or governor who is not controversial, Jelinek writes.

The Ukrainian crisis shows that the EU can either motivate post-Soviet states to cooperate with the West or have good relations with Moscow, but not both at once, Zbynek Petracek says in Lidove noviny (LN) about the Eastern Partnership summit that started in Prague on Thursday.

Moscow views any move of a post-Soviet country towards the West as aggression against itself. The West can either seek good relations with Moscow but has to ignore post-Soviet countries, or it can seek partnership with the post-Soviet countries, which makes Moscow angry, Petracek points out.

The Eastern Partnership has been showing great consideration for Moscow, he writes, referring to the Russian tanks entering Georgia in 2008.

To change its priorities, Eastern Partnership would have to be led by Poland. Or at least Czech President Milos Zeman would have to try to play the role of the hawk Radoslaw Sikorski, Polish foreign affairs minister, Petracek says.

But Zeman will not do anything like this, he writes.

Zeman would have to promote something particular, not call on NATO to defend Ukraine, but propose cooperation in shale gas mining in Ukraine that would help reinforce independence of Russia in both Ukraine and the EU, Petracek says.

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