Czech press survey - August 12


12.08.2014 07:34

Prague - Czech diplomacy headed by Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) should think it over what the arming of the Kurds in Iraq really means before proposing it, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Ministr zahraničí Lubomír Zaorálek. ČTK Kamaryt Michal

The current diplomacy is a remarkable mixture of Internationalism and Interventionism, in other words, it behaves like "a courageous hawk" once and like "a tame dove" the other time, Pesek says, reminding of Zaoralek´s loud support to the Ukrainian opposition on the one hand, and on the other hand his assuring Beijing that the Czech Republic would not even dream of the recognition of Tibetan independence.

Most recently, Zaoralek drew attention by his surprising proposal that Czechs send arms to the Iraqi Kurds, Pesek recalls.

This is such a serious issue that it would require a deep consideration since to arm Kurds actually means to support their separatist tendencies. Do we really want this? Pesek asks.

Islamists in Iraq might be halted by other means as well, for instance, through the Iraqi army theoretically, which would be hard in practice, or by a foreign military intervention.

However, one should be cautious about giving arms to one ethnicity only, in this case the Kurds, Pesek adds.

Czech politicians have unexpectedly behaved wisely and strategically in the area of energy security in the long term, Petr Kambersky writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He recalls that the government decided to build the Ingolstadt oil pipeline less than three years after the 1989 collapse of the communist regime. Thanks to the accommodating approach of the Bavarian government, its construction was launched in 1994 and two years later, the pipeline was put into operation, Kambersky recalls.

In addition, the Czech Republic was the first country in the post-communist bloc to sign a contract on gas from "elsewhere" (that is from other but Russian sources), which proved to be a far-sighted decision during the gas crisis in 2009, Kambersky says.

Last but not least, he adds, the Gazela natural gas pipeline connecting Saxony with Bavaria goes across Czech territory, and this is why the Czech Republic is a key transit country for both Russia and Germany

"The Czech Republic is a strange country, but it can count sometimes," Kambersky concludes.

Local politicians have learnt that local referenda have a strong chance of success if they are held simultaneously with some significant elections, since it increases their turnout, David Klimes writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

This is also why a record high number of local referenda are planned along with the October Senate and local elections, he adds.

He recalls that the minimum turnout for a referendum to be valid is 35 percent now.

However, voters should not only focus on the questions asked in a referendum but also on who asks them.

In view of some party organisers who ask the same questions from the previous failed referenda, it seems that they thereby only try to increase their parties´ chances in local elections, Klimes writes.

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