Czech press survey - February 27


27.02.2014 07:42

Prague - Czech dailies comment on the speech President Milos Zeman made in the European Parliament on Wednesday.


Projev českého prezidenta Miloše Zemana v Evropském parlamentu. ČTK/AP Christian Lutz

Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) that Zeman spoke self-confidently, without any sign of servility and emphatically, proving to the MEPS that the Czech Republic also has politicians whose mental range is not restricted to the struggle against energy-saving bulbs only.

This was definitely refreshing after the era of Zeman´s predecessor, (the Eurosceptic() Vaclav Klaus, Honzejk writes.

Yet, Zeman may have gone too far. Common taxes, a common military, these are dreams that not even the convinced Eurooptimists have, Honzejk writes.

He writes that fortunately, Zeman stopped just in time and did not repeat that "Russia should enter the EU in the long-term horizon."

Elsewhere in Hospodarske noviny (HN), Adam Cerny writes that in spite of all doubts and objections to Zeman´s speech, it should be said that he confirmed the hope that the triangle composed of the Presidential Office, the government and the Foreign Ministry is no longer in the situation of the previous years, where each of the three institutions followed its own foreign political line.

The three offices were becoming power centres with their own ambitions in the past decades. It is yet to be seen whether these ambitions have faded away, Cerny writes.

Jiri Pehe writes in Pravo that Zeman´s speech was a keynote one and good.

After the provocatively Eurosceptical speech by Zeman´s predecessor, Vaclav Klaus, five years ago, in which Klaus summed up all the often irrational grumbling about the EU that is regularly heard from the Czech Republic, Zeman returned to the traditions of pro-European visions, with which Vaclav Havel used to address Europe, Pehe writes.

He writes that Eurosceptics will criticise Zeman for his support to the euro and also for that he is washing the Czechs´ dirty linen in the form of criticism of the central bank before the European public.

However, others may argue that particularly this aspect of Zeman´s speech amounts to the sympathetic recognition of that the EU means "us," not a kind of "them," Pehe writes.

Zeman showed in his speech that he wants both, Vaclav Havel as well as Vaclav Klaus´s European Union, Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

However, he lacks Havel´s poetic visionariness and the systematic approach of economist Klaus, Steigerwald writes.

He writes that Havel spoke about the freedom and spirit of the imaginary European citizen more than about the struggle against bulbs.

Klaus based his criticism on his own critical analysis of the Eurosystem, Steigerwald writes.

He writes that Zeman did not follow his predecessors, he spoke as a contemporary commentator and advocate of the present-day Union tending towards a federation.

Zeman presented his vision of a federation as something like a strong commanding centre, with which Czechs have enough experiences from the times of the splitting of Czechoslovakia, Steigerwald writes.

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