Prague - The war of sanctions is on both sides rather an attack on indolence, and the side that is ready to give up something eventually wins, Jiri Pehe writes in daily Pravo today, adding that this is rather true of Russia at the moment, with all possible consequences for the future of Europe.
Pehe writes that Russia beats the West in the will to succeed. President Vladimir Putin has been capable of maintaining high domestic support for his policy with the help of nationalist rhetoric and an effective propaganda machinery.
In the West, the situation is more complicated. It is much more difficult to maintain discipline and unity in a community of dozens of democratic countries than in one authoritarian state, Pehe writes.
Putin knows that some countries, such as Cyprus, Hungary, Slovakia and also partially the Czech Republic are weak links in the western alliance and that further countries are likely to follow suit because the western middle classes that have got used to their comfort and that are cynical are ready to sacrifice only very little in the name of any higher interests, Pehe writes.
Western politicians prefer listening to what "the people" wants and the people will soon start protesting. What do the people care of a Ukraine, a remote, complicated country of which they know nothing, or of the international law principles if the loss of Russian markets will amount to the loss of jobs and profits. It might be better to constructively "comprehend" Russia, Pehe writes.
The Czech ombudsman´s office is probably haunted, Jana Bendova writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) in reference to two recent proposals made by its representatives.
Deputy ombudsman Stanislav Krecek has said the state should expropriate national heritage immovables whose owners do to take care of them, but expropriation is always the extreme instrument in a free country, Bendova writes.
Krecek´s superior, otherwise the respected head of the office Anna Sabatova, has for her part proposed that health insurance companies be given access to sensitive data of family members of their clients, saying this would make the delivery of mail easier, Bendova writes.
Is the ombudsman´s office haunted. It is not haunted most probably, but the spirit of a sort of "higher good" is trying to beat the spirit of citizens´ protected rights, Bendova writes.
May the big investments in the reconstruction of Prague Castle, the seat of Czech heads of state, and of Lany chateau, their summer residence, at variance with President Milos Zeman´s stress on economy? Zbynek Petracek asks in Lidove noviny (LN).
He writes that Prague Caste is a special mixture of republican ethos and royal splendour, to which even Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and Vaclav Havel succumbed.
However, Masaryk had his architect Josip Plecnik, Havel brought Borek Sipek, Eva Jiricna and others to the castle. With Vaclav Klaus coming there, experiments ended and a period of solid reconstructions started, but many things were left unfinished when he ended in the presidential post, Petracek writes.
Compared with Havel and Klaus, Zeman has two disadvantages. First, not much attractive buildings were left over to him to reconstruct, and second, his name does not attract investors like Havel´s used to. Businessman Lubomir Soudek, the Vision foundation and British Prince Charles´s foundation paid various reconstructions, Petracek writes.
He writes that Zeman does not have them and that is why he may make the impression of wasting money.