Czech press survey - December 11

Cigarety - kouření - tabák - ilustrační foto.

published: 11.12.2013, 07:27 | updated: 11.12.2013 07:33:01

Prague - The introduction of a sector tax on which the nascent Czech government coalition of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) have agreed in the case of the bank sector is a quite tricky issue, Jan Machacek writes in the daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

Not only an orthodox neo-liberalist would agree that all kinds of businesses should have the same tax burden, with some exceptions, such as a special tax on tobacco and alcohol products, Machacek writes.

He also asks why a new sector tax should apply to banks only and not to the energy industry or telecommunications, for example.

Machacek also recalls that the experience with sector taxes in Hungary is clearly negative. Besides, it is often connected with the rise in authoritarianism in Central Europe, he points out.

However, if the bank sector is the precondition for a new government coalition and if the Jiri Rusnok government along with President Milos Zeman, who appointed it despite the parliament´s will, kept governing in the country without it, it would be better if the tax were introduced. Moreover, Zeman´s team would introduce it anyway, Machacek concludes.

A "little deal" that looks like "a ticket to the Paradise" but will be hard to fulfil, Martin Zverina writes on the first draft coalition agreement of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

The right-left government is promising everything to everyone, all will win and no one lose if its programme is materialised. Some of the planned measures seem reasonable, others are well known from the previous cabinets, while some seem very absurd, Zverina writes.

All coalitions express strong optimism at the very beginning but the optimism of this coalition is "built on water," he says, adding that some of its promises are completely contradictory.

In addition, the coalition agreement is to include safeguard to prevent the parties from outvoting one another in the Chamber of Deputies, with the aid of another party in parliament, Zverina recalls.

If the coalition does not trust in its unity even in the first significant vote in the Chamber of Deputies - the vote of confidence, do other promises it has made matter? Zverina asks in conclusion.

Future Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, leader of the Social Democrats (CSSD), will have to fight with President Milos Zeman´s ill will and this battle seems to last long, Josef Kopecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

Zeman recently raised objections to some potential candidates for ministers in the nascent coalition government of Sobotka though he clearly said in the summer, when assessing "his" caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok, that the prime minister has the full right to decide on his cabinet´s composition, Kopecky recalls.

It seems that Zeman is expediently changing his opinion if it suits him, he adds.

No professional qualities of the candidates for ministers are actually at stake in the dispute between Sobotka and Zeman. This is a battle with a politician whose decision-making is driven by his vengefulness. This is a fight with ill will that will not end with the appointment of new ministers, Kopecky concludes in MfD.


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