Czech press survey - February 26


26.02.2014 07:33

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman has built his career on strong words that need not necessarily correspond to facts, and he is likely to keep to this practice while addressing the EP in Strasbourg today, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN).


Prezident Miloš Zeman vystoupil s projevem před poslanci 18. února v Poslanecké sněmovně v Praze. ČTK Doležal Michal

Zeman does not mind being mocked by newspapers. He mainly seeks ovations of the crowd, Kambersky writes.

Zeman clearly presented his sense of logics in the campaign before the Czech presidential election when he said, at one and the same public meeting, that he would "prefer transferring the whole [Czech] foreign political agenda to Brussels," but at the same time he asserted that he would have "never allowed the [Czech] cabinet to recognise independent Kosovo," Kambersky writes.

The discrepancy between the two statements did not bother Zeman´s opponents, let alone the audience, Kambersky says.

Let´s hope that no faux pas will accompany Zeman´s Strasbourg appearance today, he adds.

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) made a risky step and a mistake when he verbally attacked ANO, a junior governing partner, Josef Kopecky says in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

He refers to Sobotka´s statement that ANO´s Prague branch has been infiltrated by compromised former rightist politicians who are linked to "godfathers" from the business semi-world.

As if Sobotka were unaware that he owes his seat of prime minister to Babis´s support and that as prime minister he cannot push through anything without Babis´s support, Kopecky writes.

In addition, it is the Prague branch of the CSSD whose representatives (together with the Civic Democrats) are a symbol of the City Hall´s former infamous practices, Kopecky says.

However, Sobotka needs these controversial people, such as Petr Hulinsky and Miroslav Poche, as they support him against his rivals in the CSSD, and he therefore treats them as his favourites, Kopecky writes.

It seems that a politician who has not a "godfather" to cooperate with actually as if did not exist, Kopecky writes.

Freedom is ceasing to be a sought-after value in the Czech Republic, Petr Kambersky writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN), presenting three events as an argument to prove his opinion.

The first case concerns Communist MP Marta Semelova, who may face prosecution over her statements challenging the crimes of communism, Kambersky says.

Should not the police and judiciary refrain from launching prosecution and, instead, leave Semelova´s communist blabbing and lies up to voters to assess? Kambersky asks.

A strong and free-minded society does not fear blabber-mouths, the less so those operating within a legal political party, he points out.

Another controversial case concerns the police, whose two squads [anti-corruption and anti-mafia ones] have raised accusations against the Prague City Hall over mistakes linked to the construction of the Blanka underground tunnel complex, but the two accusations go counter to each other, Kambersky says.

The third case is the most bizarre of all. The Social Democrat (CSSD) and ANO MPs seek a change in the order of procedure that would "restrict deputies´ blabbing in parliament," he says.

After 25 years of freedom, longing for a strong police hand is clearly palpable in Czech society, Kambersky concludes.

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