Czech press survey - August 25


25.08.2014 09:31

Prague - Czech foreign policy is not as unstable now as when Vaclav Klaus was the country´s president, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo today in relation to a weekend meeting of President Milos Zeman, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky.


Ilustrační foto - Prezident Miloš Zeman (vpředu vpravo) jmenoval 29. ledna na Pražském hradě členy nové vlády. Řízením ministerstva zahraničních věcí pověřil Lubomíra Zaorálka (vpředu vlevo). ČTK Vondrouš Roman

It is obvious that Czech top representatives try to present the same position in foreign affairs, even though Zeman, due to his character, cannot help saying something extravagant from time to time, for example about sanctions against Russia, Mitrofanov writes.

He says Zeman met Zaoralek and Stropnicky before the forthcoming NATO summit in Wales where he will represent the Czech Republic and where he plans to comment on the fight against international terrorism.

This is a question Zeman has been focusing on for a long time and it is a hot issue, which is part of the summit´s agenda. It will only depend how much of his Islamophobia will Zeman express in Wales, Mitrofanov writes.

President Zeman repeated the opinion that the Czech National Bank (CNB) weakened the crown in order to postpone euro adoption at his talks with trade unionists last week, but he does not seem to believe it himself, Julie Hrstkova writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).

Zeman presented this view already in parliament in February. Now he added that the CNB bankers might take the measure because they do not want to lose part of their powers, which would be one of the consequences of adopting euro as the Czech currency, Hrstkova writes.

This idea of postponing euro adoption by CNB interventions is odd, she says.

Moreover, the pro-European Zeman named to the CNB board pro-European Jiri Rusnok who agreed with the interventions from the very beginning and defended them as an instrument helping the economy, unlike most of the others, Hrstkova writes.

This shows that Zeman does not think that CNB interventions and euro adoption have anything in common. It seems that Zeman wanted to flatter the trade unions by attacking bankers with whom the unionists have no cordial relations, Hrskova says.

Martin Zverina says in Lidove noviny (LN) that the plan of Bohuslav Sobotka´s (Social Democrats, CSSD) government to merge all health insurance companies into one is not reasonable because no money would be saved.

According to law, health insurance companies can spend a certain part of their profits on their operation and this percentage, a consequently also the costs, will remain the same, Zverina writes.

Even if this percentage is lowered by a new law, a monopoly of a single health insurance company would lead to more corruption, fraud and lower efficiency and less effort to be attractive for patients, Zverina writes.

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