Czech press survey - December 17

Nová česká velvyslankyně na Slovensku Livia Klausová (vlevo) odevzdala 16. prosince v Bratislavě pověřovací listiny slovenskému prezidentovi Ivanu Gašparovičovi (vpravo).

published: 17.12.2013, 07:30 | updated: 17.12.2013 07:34:48

Prague - Czech-Slovak relations are more influenced by the results of the ice hockey games between the two countries than by the person of the Czech ambassador to Bratislava, Jindrich Sidlo writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today in relation the new ambassador Livia Klausova.

Former Czech first lady Klausova who officially took the post on Monday is nothing but a symbol, Sidlo writes.

Sidlo says she is a symbol of friendly family help and power that President Milos Zeman wanted to show soon after his inauguration.

Zeman succeeded in pushing Klausova through as ambassador against the will of former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

Now Zeman is trying to influence the choice of the next Czech foreign minister and the price for winning the post, Sidlo writes.

Lubos Palata says in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that Klausova should have been a lady but she is only a person winning a senior post in exchange for her services.

Klausova was the first lady for ten years during the presidential mandate of her husband and she was respected even by many Czechs who did not like president Klaus very much, Palata writes.

But when she told the TV cameras during the campaign before the direct presidential election last winter that would like the next Czech first lady to speak only German, she attacked the wife of Karel Schwarzenberg, Zeman´s rival, Palata recalls.

Klausova even challenged Schwarzenberg´s relation to his homeland, he adds.

Her statements were not only undiplomatic but also stupid. Moreover, there were not necessary because her husband and her son Vaclav Klaus Jr backed Zeman so strongly that no more support was needed, Palata says.

It is a shame that Klausova does not represent Czechs in Slovakia as a lady but as Zeman´s protege, he concludes.

It is noteworthy that President Zeman declared that a president should not influence the government lineup in summer after he made Jiri Rusnok prime minister, but now he claims that the president of course has to be interested in the lineup, Antonin Rasek writes in Pravo.

Rusnok, head of the outgoing caretaker cabinet, has been considered Zeman´s puppet by many. Potential next prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) repeatedly clashed with Zeman.

Rasek says Zeman does not like CSSD politicians Jiri Dienstbier, Lubomir Zaoralek and Vladimir Spidla who are candidates for justice, foreign and environment ministers, respectively.

Should Sobotka give up his colleagues and rule the country with a B-team? Rasek asks.


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