Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman is returning to practical politics and he is in a good form, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, commenting on Zeman´s recent statement that he will not agree with the civil service bill on which the government and opposition have reached a compromise agreement.
Prezident Miloš Zeman (vlevo) a premiér Bohuslav Sobotka vystoupili 21. července v Praze na společné tiskové konferenci po jednání vlády, které dnes prezidnt navštívil. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
This unleashes another round of struggle between Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), in which not only influence and personal satisfaction, but also the character of the Czech political system are at stake, Honzejk writes.
From the matter-of-fact point of view, Zeman´s objections are leaky, but Zeman is not concerned about the matter-of-fact side of the bill. The attack on it is nothing but an instrument with which to promote his popularity and to become a relevant and active political player after a ten-month passivity, Honzejk writes.
All those who claimed that Zeman is a man of the past were mistaken. He is back, using as always demagogic arguments pronounced with the diction of an Old Testament prophet, Honzejk writes.
Zeman will not yet win this specific battle, but this means nothing. What imports is that he has strength and appetite to play. He has yet another three and a half years to reach his goal, Honzejk writes.
Commenting on the same theme, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo that in his recent half-an-hour interview with Czech Television, Zeman mainly repeated his known stances, but the sole thing that had a new content was worthwhile.
Zeman made it emphatically clear that he is going to make Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka´s life more difficult. To show that he does not only want to lay wreaths, but that he wants to play first fiddle, Zeman chose the civil service bill with which to attack Sobotka, Mitrofanov writes.
He writes that Sobotka does not fare badly in his post, which Zeman cannot leave unnoticed. That is why Finance Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babis, whose relations with Sobotka are not rosy ones, was the sole politician whom Zeman praised in the interview.
The question of what a good head of state, which suffers from the feeling of not being in the forefront of developments, is good for citizens, Mitrofanov writes.
He writes that Zeman´s steps do not only arise from his indomitable personality. He only makes use of the unclear power position of the president of a parliamentary republic of Czech type for his benefit, Mitrofanov writes.
Daniel Anyz writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not foolish to try to smuggle a Trojan hose filled with weapons to Ukraine under the guiese of humanitarian aid.
But he is cunning enough to send the aid in an unusual way, in cooperation with the Red Cross or another organisation. He knew that Mosocw´s private action will serve him as a smoke screen that will cover up all other things for a couple of days, Anyz writes.
The other things include, for instance, the information that Russia is not the sole source of aid, but that the European Commission approved 2.5 million euros for these purposes at the beginning of the week, Anyz writes.
Besides this, Putin´s other vehicles, the military ones such as tanks and armoured vehicles, anti-aircraft defence and the dozens of soldiers who are gathering along the border with eastern Ukraine will not be seen in TV shots of the white convoy with humanitarian aid, Anyz writes.
He writes that the EU and NATO should be on their guard. When the smoke screen dissolves, a surprise may follow and Putin´s surprises are not usually pleasant ones.