Czech press survey - January 29


29.01.2014 07:53

Prague - The new Czech centre-left cabinet raises strong doubts even before its appointment by President Milos Zeman, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today, when the appointment ceremony is to take place.


Zleva předseda ANO Andrej Babiš a předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka 6. ledna v Praze na tiskové konferenci po podpisu koaliční smlouvy. ČTK Doležal Michal

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) a priori says he wants to raise taxes as if they were not high enough already now, Kambersky writes.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) owns a business empire, which enables to challenge his decisions as aimed to help his own firms, Kambersky writes.

Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) is toying with the idea of introducing quotas for Czech-made foods in shops, which is at odds with the free trade principle and the EU rules, Kambersky writes.

He also criticises other ministers and he says in standard circumstances it would be impossible to hail Sobotka´s cabinet.

However, the cabinet enjoys optimal conditions for governance. It has a comfortable majority in parliament and the economy is growing again after years of crisis, Kambersky says.

Above all, the new cabinet, which emerged from elections, is a blessing for the country after the six-month governance of the willful President Zeman, Kambersky adds.

The Presidential Office refuses to release information about its senior staffers´ pay, which is at variance with the decisions Czech courts made in similar cases in the past, Martin Zverina writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN).

There exists a number of precedential verdicts that bind the Presidential Office to disclose the officials´ pay. That is why its reluctance to do so can be clearly viewed as a tactic of protractions aimed to discourage the questioners, Zverina writes.

For those who supported Zeman in the direct presidential election a year ago, it must be disappointing to see their idol behaving like his predecessor Vaclav Klaus and paying attention to them only until they cast their ballots for him and forgetting them and the promises he made to them immediately afterwards, Zverina writes.

The civil service law, which Zeman eagerly promotes, includes the principle of transparency, in accordnace with which people should be informed about the pay of senior public officials, Zverina writes.

The Green Party (SZ) made no significant changes in its leadership at its recent congress, as if it did not mind the heavy defeats it suffered in the past few years, Josef Kopecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

Without running the risk, the SZ can hardly attract voters whom it lost due to the internal disputes that rocked it when it was a junior partner in [Mirek Topolanek´s centre-right] cabinet [in 2007-2009], Kopecky writes.

On the other hand, the SZ can still hope that it will manage what the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) managed last year - to re-enter the Chamber of Deputies after a pause, Kopecky continues.

Like the KDU-CSL, the SZ has its own specific programme that cannot be simply labelled right or left and that can address the necessary number of voters again after the SZ´s previous split falls into oblivion, Kopecky writes.

If the SZ wants to succeed, it must put emphasis on the difference between it and other parties. It should defend the interests of those who suffer from air pollution and who resent foods with unnatural and harmful chemical substances, he says.

If voters start considering environment protection as important for the country´s further development as the economic and social issues, the SZ will have a chance of a comeback. However, this is unthinkable without bigger personnel changes in the party leadership, Kopecky says.

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