Czech press survey - August 27


27.08.2014 07:35

Prague - The directly elected Czech President Milos Zeman promised that he would reveal the names of the authors of the controversial amnesty declared by his predecessor Vaclav Klaus on New Year Day 2013, but he did not do it, Lukas Jelinek writes in daily Pravo today.


Prezident Miloš Zeman. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Klaus´s amnesty helped sweep a lot of scandalous cases under the carpet and it further lowered people´s trust in politics, Jelinek says.

Zeman´s team pointed to Pavel Hasenkopf, lawyer of Klaus´s office, but Hasenkopf is merely a scapegoat. The denigrating statements of Zeman´s office head Vratislav Mynar against Hasenkopf ridicule the post of president, Jelinek writes.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shook hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in meeting in Minsk on Tuesday, which is hopeful, Lubos Palata writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

Poroshenko also offered peace talks that would allow to Putin to keep face in the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Palata writes.

If Poroshenko and Putin do not reach agreement, there will be war. Peace would be good for both Ukrainians and Russians, Palata concludes.

Czech ombudsman Anna Sabatova´s description of the expulsion of two Muslim students from a Prague secondary medical school over their wearing headscarves as discriminatory is noteworthy, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) and he praises Sabatova´s approach.

By her verdict, Sabatova said Prague would not follow the example of France and Belgium as countries that apply "the scarf law," Petracek writes.

The law, banning headscarves at public schools and offices, is a symbol of equality, but also of an "almost religious dictate." If a state forces women not to wear the hijab, it strongly reminds the Iranian police´s practice of forcing them to wear it, Petracek writes.

The question is whether the scarf wearing means a full outward expression of the above students´ Muslim identity. If it does, the scarf is really a symbol of their free religious faith that has no practical impact on their education as students. If so, the expulsion of the students can be considered discriminatory, Petracek writes.

It probably would not be discriminatory if the scarf did not function as a religious symbol only and if it were a part of the girls´ behaviour along with their refusal to do physical exercises, to contact men, including patients, etc. Only in such a situation, it could be said that a private or religious school would be suit such students better than a public school. No such situation has been proved in the Prague case, however, Petracek concludes.

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