Czech press survey - January 14


14.01.2014 07:36

Prague - Czech outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok´s presence at Monday´s funeral of former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon was the "swan song" of Prague´s pro-Israeli approach, which is unlikely to continue under the new government, Rostislav Matulik writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Rakev s tělem bývalého izraelského premiéra Ariela Šarona v Jeruzalémě. ČTK/AP Bernat Armangue

It is remarkable that the Czech Republic was the only country that was represented at the event by both the prime minister and defence minister, Matulik says.

Rusnok´s Israeli trip was evidently in harmony with the pro-Israeli inclination of "his chief," President Milos Zeman, who does not hire his admiration for Israel, Matulik writes.

On the other hand, Czech politicians´ fondness for Israel can be expected to end now that Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) is to become foreign minister, Matulik continues.

Standard social democrat and EU approach will prevail, including the tendency of assessing oppressed nations as good and strong nations as bad, naturally except for China and Russia, Matulik writes.

Liberal-minded Czechs may feel unhappy about "populist xenophobe" Tomio Okamura´s triumph in the CVVM poll mapping the public´s trust in domestic politicians, but they should realise that there are two conditions for a politician to be trusted by people - he has to be known enough and has to do nothing, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).

Okamura, head of the Dawn of Direct Democracy movement, a newcomer in parliament, meets both conditions, as "the champions of trustworthiness," Stanislav Gross and Vlasta Parkanova, did in the past, Honzejk writes.

He alludes to Gross, Social Democrat minister and prime minister in the mid-1990s, and Parkanova, former conservative minister and lower house deputy head, who both saw their popularity plummet sharply and were unseated from their posts over suspicious dealings.

The CVVM polling agency in fact does not map politicians´ trustworthiness but their marketing skills, an area in which one cannot triumph forever, as the examples of Gross and Parkanova show, Honzejk writes.

Okamura, too, is sure of losing his position of the front-runner sooner or later, Honzejk adds.

Tomio Okamura´s success in a fresh popularity poll is not that surprising in a situation where the Czech Republic has lived without a cabinet leaning on parliament´s confidence and without a standardly functioning Chamber of Deputies for half a year now, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

The CVVM poll has shown whom people have started to trust instead [of the no longer trustworthy parliament and government], in spite of the unilateral presentation of only selected politicians by the media, Petracek writes.

In the past six months, the media, mainly television, presented no one else but President Milos Zeman and "his" caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok, and later also the October general election winners. As a result, people pin their trust mainly on parties´ negotiators who speak the most loudly and most aggressively of all, Petracek writes.

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