Czech press survey - January 7


07.01.2014 07:47

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman is not in the best part of the game about the future government, however, this does not mean that he is not able to make an unexpected move and produce his trump card, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Prezident Miloš Zeman přijíždí 18. prosince na schůzi Senátu, který má schvalovat další dva kandidáty na ústavní soudce. ČTK Doležal Michal

He adds that Zeman lost significant chess pieces and above all unintentionally united his opponents into a (so far) firm block.

The leaders of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) signed their coalition agreement on Monday and their candidates for ministers were officially presented to Zeman. He expressed objections to some of them, which even more cemented the nascent coalition, Kambersky recalls.

Consequently, he says, Zeman does not have any possibilities to keep playing his game since he would not succeed in forming another coalition at the moment.

Yet Zeman may still surprise, while prolonging the current "interregnum," Kambersky notes.

"If this happened in another country, one might feel amused watching it," Kambersky concludes in LN.

Despite strong words, both future PM and Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Bohuslav Sobotka and President Milos Zeman will probably reach agreement and make concessions on the path to it, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

They may be seeking "a win-win solution," he adds.

Honzejk recalls that Zeman, for his part, has given up his demand for a lustration (screening) certificate of ANO head Andrej Babis, nominated for finance minister, who is suspected of collaboration with former communist secret police StB, while Sobotka has not nominated Zeman´s "chief enemy" Vladimir Spidla, former PM, to the coalition cabinet.

Honzejk adds that other concessions are prepared to be made if need be as neither Zeman nor Sobotka are interested in going to extremes in the dispute.

Sobotka would thereby delay the formation of a functional political government, while another probable defeat would further weaken Zeman´s position, Honzejk notes.

In other words, there is a joint interest so it is worth for both sides to agree eventually, Honzejk writes.

Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that a new Czech government is "a coalition of socialists with high finance," commenting on the cabinet of the Social Democrats , food and media tycoon Andrej Babis´s ANO movement and the Christian Democrats.

Steigerwald reminds of the past fears of a too strong influence of big capital on politics, which played an important role in the political collapse last year.

However, these fears are now unsubstantiated. The economic capital does not influence the government via lobbying any longer, it is directly forming it. A strong political union of high finance with the Social Democracy has been created, Steigerwald points out, referring to the coalition, in which billionaire and businessman Babis will have the strong say.

This is actually a logical connection as both partners have a joint interest - a strong authoritarian state, Steigerwald writes.

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