Czech press survey - August 8


08.08.2014 07:40

Prague - The new Czech civil service bill, on which the government agreed with the opposition this week, might become a tool of fighting between ministries, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka (vpravo) a ministr pro legislativu Jiří Dienstbier vystoupili 1. srpna v Praze na tiskové konferenci po jednání s opozicí o služebním zákonu. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

The complaint of Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD), who was in charge of the legislation, about "his" bill being damaged sounds like a small kid´s cry as politics is based on compromises. Moreover, most changes pushed through in the bill are for the better, Pesek says.

Dienstbier is not right in his cry over the new politicising of the civil service since it will and should be politicised in terms of political control and responsibility, but not in terms of political influence and scrambles. And exactly this is a real threat now, Pesek adds.

He indicates that with the new legislation, the civil service might cause fights between the Interior Ministry, to which its focus is to be transferred, and the Finance Ministry, while these sectors are usually divided between two coalition parties.

In this respect, Pesek asks whether the civil service law would really secure the balance of power.

"A bitter non-victory," Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo about the agreement between the government and opposition on the form of the civil service bill.

He recalls that the right-wing opposition parties, the Civic Democrats (ODS) and TOP 09/STAN, in vain protested against the previous steps pushed through by the centre-left cabinet of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), such as the rise in the minimum wage and the abolition of health care fees and the second pension pillar.

However, now the opposition has succeeded in the case of the civil service bill that will be considerably changed in compliance with its proposals, Jelinek notes.

The senior government Social Democrats "have lost a lot of blood" during the negotiations on the legislation. This is why it was suitable for PM and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka to boast about his party´s successful referendum on the same day.

However, the key question remains: Shall the government involve the opposition in the decisions-making or return "to the barricades" and fight it again. The first path leads to stability, while the other one is more comprehensible for voters Another option is to choose the strategy ad hoc, Jelinek writes.

Not to pay debts is unjust not only towards creditors but also towards the others who pay their debts, Julie Hrstkova writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, commenting on an amendment to regulate the remuneration for debt enforcement, which took effect on July 1.

She says the previous high remuneration for lawyers and distraint officers was legal, though in some cases (if debts amounted to hundreds of crowns only) they seemed immoral. However, not to pay debts is not only unlawful bot also immoral.

Due to the decrease in the payments for debt enforcement, some creditors will give up claiming low debts. It would not be worth it, since they would have to add more money to the approved prices for lawyers, she adds.

Nevertheless, this should not be the aim of the amendment as it means a pardon for those who consider it normal not to pay their debts, Hrstkova writes.

If a driving licence can be suspended from child maintenance defaulters, there is no reason why not to apply other similar sanctions in the case of low debts. It is better that to forget them and increase the costs of services for those who pay them, Hrstkova concludes.

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