Prague - Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok's claim that he is passing the nation in a better state than in which he found it should be thoroughly checked, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).
Český premiér v demisi Jiří Rusnok při zahájení summitu EU 19. prosince v Bruselu. ČTK Dospiva Jakub
If the latest economic figures are examined, it should be concluded that Rusnok's government neither harmed nor helped the nation, Honzejk writes.
However, the government also should be assessed by the atmosphere it created in the country. Here, it cannot be praised, he adds.
In fact, Rusnok has a become a shareholder of President Milos Zeman's power project and he harmed the political ethic and a fragile sense of political legitimacy, Honzejk writes.
As a result, Rusnok's government further reduced the small trust of the general public in politics and deepened the atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust that also harmed the Czech Republic in the economic sphere, he adds.
The cleaning after Rusnok will last a long time. He cannot be given a positive or at least neutral mark, Honzejk writes.
Prime minister-designate Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) is claiming some powers at the expense of the CNB central bank, but he must also admit that he is responsible for his decisions and have the relevant ability for them, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN).
His coalition government will be unable to advocate the Social Democrat absolute European conformity as Andrej Babis's centrist ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will not allow this.
But it will proudly proclaim that it is the most pro-European government, Zverina writes.
Now there is the question of whether the voters will appreciate this, he adds.
The routine invitation for a reciprocal visit to Prague which President Milos Zeman passed to his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich last October has turned into a complex international political and diplomatic gambit, Daniel Anyz writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).
In it, Zeman must not play the role of an individual sitting at Prague Castle, the seat of Czech heads of state. In this case, Prague may be an agent of the entire EU policy, he adds.
It is in the interest of both the USA and the EU that the Ukrainian regime keep speaking with the West so that it does not definitively embrace Moscow, Anyz writes.
Although it does not seem to be so after the latest events, Yanukovich can still return to the negotiating table. His visit to Prague may be one of the opportunities for this, he adds.
If this is to occur in Prague, Zeman will have to proceed in close coordination with the Foreign Ministry that may be soon headed by Social Democrat Lubomir Zaoralek, Anyz writes.
For Zeman and the Czech general public, this may be one of the first real tests whether Zeman is able to push away his animus and egotism and for the sake of good reputation of Czech foreign policy he may cooperate with someone he considers an amateur and traitor, he adds, hinting at Zeman's sour relations with Zaoralek.