Czech press survey - February 25


25.02.2014 07:49

Prague - The European Union should invest in Ukraine now to prevent the country from leaning on Moscow or even disintegrating, Daniel Anyz writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.


Lídři ukrajinské opozice jednají v Kyjevě s evropskou ministryní zahraničí Catherin Ashtonovou. ČTK/AP Andrew Kravchenko

The interests and offer of Russia are well known. President Vladimir Putin´s neo-Soviet concept of the Euro-asian Union would collapse without Ukraine. However, the interests and offer of the other side, the EU and the United States, are more complex, Anyz says.

Despite the U.S. restored effort to get involved in the aid to Ukraine in crisis via the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it is apparent that the main responsibility will be up to Brussels, Anyz notes.

"This (EU´s) investment (in Ukraine) is risky. But the price that the EU could pay due to its indecisiveness, inability to reach a political consensus and lack of prudence if Ukraine remained on the other bank, would be much higher. In a better case the EU would have Putin´s satellite at its Eastern outer border, in a worse case a split country," Anyz writes in HN.

The Opencard smart card for Praguers that should have brought them to the 21st century has failed and it resembles an old immobile Skoda car of the same price as Bentley, Pavel Svec writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), citing the City Hall politicians´ previous ironic statements.

He recalls that the bombastic Opencard project has turned into an unwanted inheritance left by former Prague mayor Pavel Bem (Civic Democrats, ODS), which has cost the city at least 1.4 billion crowns since 2006 and it is not sure whether it will continue, Svec says.

Bem has so far avoided prosecution over the disadvantageous overpriced project, unlike his subordinates.

Svec recalls that five former City Hall officials were given suspended sentences for their preferring the firm Haguess in the Opencard project and another ten officials, including Bem´s both successors, still face charges and a possible prison sentence in the case.

The comparison of Opencard to an old Skoda car with a too high fuel consumption that costs as much as Bentley and that must be repaired to drive to a service station at least is pertinent. Unfortunately, Svec concludes.

The Czech Republic has finally admitted, 25 years since the collapse of the previous regime, that the Communist secret police (StB) officers committed a crime by beating up people even under the totalitarian legislation, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He comments on the Prague Municipal Court´s Monday verdict that upheld the sentences given to three former StB officers for kidnapping and beating up dissident Petr Placak in June 1989.

The truth has won eventually but it has been hard work. The verdict is just a little gift to the 25-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution but thank God for it, Petracek writes.

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