published: 02.02.2013, 12:55 | updated: 02.02.2013 13:09:51
Prague - Milos Zeman, the newly elected president, is expected to trigger turbulent changes on the Czech scene after he takes up the office in early March, but is not 100 percent sure that he really has an exact plan or a strategy to pursue, Ondrej Stindl writes in daily Lidove noviny today.
It depends on whether Zeman´s goal was the election victory alone or whether he sought victory as a means to achieve another goal, Stindl writes.
It also depends on whether and to what extent he would feel bound by the alliances he struck on his way to presidency, and on what he would feel like doing at particular moments, Stindl writes.
The first year of Zeman´s presidency will definitively be turbulent. However, if the new president is to embody the (old-) new political style, his offensive need not be that crushing, Stindl writes, possibly alluding to the then Zeman-led Social Democrats´ power-sharing pact with the arch-rival Civic Democrats in 1998-2002.
True, Zeman´s offensive may be planned and pursued by others. Traditional incapability of his supposed opponents may also play a role, Stindl writes.
In spite of this, the depicting of Zeman as an invincible opponent is an alibi-seeking position, he concludes.
The information that the Czech MPs who are jailed as convicts or prosecuted suspects continue receiving their salaries including various perks contributes to people´s bad mood, which is actually no longer merely bad but even angry or hateful in relation to the government, Jiri Hanak writes in Pravo.
He reacts to the case of deputies David Rath, prosecuted on suspicion of corruption, and Hynek Pekarek, who has been convicted of corruption and is to start his six-year sentence.
Pekarek worked as a deputy for a short time only. He helped the government pass the church restitution and a VAT increase, and only afterwards his party, the Civic Democrats (ODS), dissociated itself from him because it did not need him any more, Hanak writes.
Nevertheless, in the meantime Pekarek employed his wife as his own assistant in parliament, thereby raising their joint income considerably, Hanak writes.
At the same time, the government has impoverished the middle class. Disabled people and pensioners have been "trained in the art of surviving." The unemployed have been treated as serfs and the country, unlike its neighbours, is faced with lengthy economic recession, Hanak writes.
No wonder that people tend to identify this nightmare with the democratic system, he points out, referring to a fresh public opinion poll according to which a slight majority of Czechs consider the pre-1989 regime better than the present one.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR) has undoubtedly proved itself and met the expectations pinned on it when it was established five years ago, Ludek Navara writes in Mlada fronta Dnes.
The USTR has opened the door to the dark moments in the Czech past, which has been alternately closed, opened, closed and opened again, and whose openness is still being struggled for, Navara writes.
The struggle over opening history is neverending. The past is a source of inspiration as well as apprehensions and uncertainty. A historical example that some consider an interesting issue to think about, may threaten others, Navara writes.
Maybe the Czechs must simply struggle for the past to remain fully open forever, he adds.
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