Czech press survey - February 14


14.02.2014 07:34

Prague - Petr Fischer says in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today that if the Czech police and judges really punished controversial lobbyist Ivo Rittig, suspected of money laundering and manipulation of public orders, it would be the biggest fish caught since the fall of the communist regime.


Podnikatel Ivo Rittig přichází 18. září na policejní služebnu v pražské ulici Na Perštýně k výslechu v kauze někdejší šéfky kabinetu expremiéra Petra Nečase Jany Nagyové. ČTK Doležal Michal

Rittig was arrested and accused on Thursday in relation to the case of supply and print of Prague public transport tickets.

If Rittig is punished, it will also be a symbol of an era of corruption networks, Fischer writes.

The question is whether Rittig is the head of the huge network or just of one of its branches, he concludes.

The Czech political parties seem to be willing to set the rules of the game and decide where they have common interest with President Milos Zeman and where they will not accept his whims, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo.

He says the rejection of the draft amendment to the university law in the Chamber of Deputies is an example of this.

Zeman does not want to formally name professors and he would like this power to move to the Senate head, but the Chamber was against the idea of Thursday.

Jelinek says the politicians might even be able to push through a constitutional amendment that would modify the presidential powers and set deadlines for some steps the president is obliged to take.

Unless the Ombudsman Office wants to lose its respect, created by Otakar Motejl (2000-2010) and maintained by Pavel Varvarovsky (2010-2013), the lower house of parliament has to choose Anna Sabatova, not Stanislav Krecek, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

In the first round of the vote, neither Sabatova nor Krecek received the required support on Thursday. The second round is to be held on Friday afternoon.

The ombudsman should be somebody who is a dissident by his nature, who is strong in his mission, Petracek says.

But it is not crucial that Sabatova was a dissident under the communist regime. It is crucial that she learnt that courage, resolution and enthusiasm is not enough. One should not only be able to present problems but also to seek ways of their solution. One needs to be able to understand the bureaucratic systems and be unwilling to give in, Petracek writes.

Krecek as a former experienced Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker and fighter for the protection of tennants is rather a person from the party and lobbyist circles, Petracek writes.

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