Czech press survey - February 7


07.02.2014 07:31

Prague - The Czech police must be finally freed from any political influence, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, commenting on the end of the schism at the Police Presidium.


Policie. Logo. Policejní služebna. Ilustrační foto. ČTK Veselý Dušan

Though both police chiefs, Martin Cervicek and the reinstalled Petr Lessy resigned, it is not certain that the situation will improve and the police will be independent from politics, Honzejk says.

If new Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) wants, he will be able to arrange "his" police president who will be more loyal to the CSSD than to the police´s independence, Honzejk notes.

It is hard to say how Chovanec will behave in the post but there is unfortunately an obscure tradition in the Czech Republic of the police chief being the most valuable commodity, which must be overcome, Honzejk writes.

In the future, both the civil service and police laws should guarantee that the minister will be able to meddle in the police budget and logistics but not in personnel affairs and the investigation, Honzejk points out.

Of course, he adds, it is impossible to secure that the police president cannot be corrupt, but it must be prevented by as many legal obstacles as possible.

"No politician will be allowed to go the the police for cases like to a supermarket," Honzejk concludes.

Former justice minister Jiri Pospisil, who recently left the opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), is only a media symbol, similarly like TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg, Josef Mlejnek Jr writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He comments on the fact that Pospisil may run for TOP 09 in the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament (EP) and he may even be its election leader.

"Jiri Pospisil was simply a symbol of the anti-corruption fight in certain times and in a certain political context. However, both the times and context are changing," Mlejnek Jr writes.

With the aid of the rest of his popularity Pospisil might be catapulted to Brussels in the spring, but to be elected to the EP meant the same in the Czech Republic in the past as being sent to Mars, Mlejnek Jr says.

"Out of sight, out of mind," he adds.

TOP 09 clearly plans to return Pospisil to the domestic political scene after his work in the EP (if he were elected) when the right time comes, Mlejnek Jr notes.

However, the question is whether the attempt at the "Euro-upgrade" of one politician, who was pushed of the running, may not end in his fading away completely, Mlejnek Jr concludes.

It is definitely not surprising that current Czech Communist Party (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip has shown understanding for the pre-1989 hard-core communist Vasil Bilak, who died this week aged 96, Zbynek Petracek writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He recalls that Bilak, a secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KSC) and chief party ideologist in 1968-1988, was one of the officials who "had invited" the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops to Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring reform movement.

Filip says there are different views of Bilak´s then initiative nowadays. This is true, Petracek says, some consider it high treason, while others, such as the Communists, a "historical necessity."

Twenty-five years after the collapse of the communist regime, KSCM chairman assures citizens that he is a real Communist and that everything by which his party is distancing itself from the previous regime is nothing but an expedient pose, Petracek says.

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