Czech press survey - July 14


14.07.2014 07:45

Prague - Prague´s sluggish choice of a Czech candidate for EU commissioner need not end as badly as it may seem now, David Klimes writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, and points to the absence of women among the otherwise "brilliant" candidates proposed by other countries.


Lucemburský premiér a kandidát voleb do EP Jean-Claude Juncker ČTK/AP Markus Schreiber

Jean-Claude Juncker, the new EC president-designated, needs to complete a Commission with at least as many female members as the outgoing Commission of Jose Barroso, Klimes writes.

Since only one country, Italy, has offered a female candidate so far, Juncker has reportedly openly offered important EC seats to individual EU states if they sent a woman to the Commission. This is a chance for the Czech Republic, Klimes writes.

The candidates offered to Juncker include many distinguished personalities, including former prime ministers and ministers, but all are men. It is good that the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) no longer promote former finance minister Pavel Mertlik, who would only be one of a number of male candidates, Klimes writes, without elaborating.

Mertlik has been considered the CSSD´s candidate so far.

It is also good that ANO does not propose Pavel Telicka as its candidate, because Telicka, a former lobbyist, could be rejected by the European Parliament, Klimes writes.

If the Czech government is pondering new names of candidates now, it should prefer women. Juncker knows well that his Commission could have a problem in the EP, if it included two or three women only, Klimes writes.

ANO seems to have understood this and it has nominated Minister Vera Jourova. This is a step in the right direction, Klimes adds.

It is amusing to watch Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka´s (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) populist crusade for a reduction of the excise tax on beer and later possibly also on fuels, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

In reaction to these efforts, former finance minister has labelled Jurecka "a naive swineherd," but this evidently did not make the latter change his mind. He insists on his proposals though he is not empowered to make them, though they may not have the desired effect and they harm the society, Zverina writes.

Although the return to the excise tax level of 2010 does not automatically guarantee a decline in the price of beer, Jurecka uses the decline as an argument, Zverina continues.

Besides, by supporting beer consumption as a "national" speciality, Jurecka simultaneously supports alcoholism, home violence, diabetes and other "national" negative phenomena, Zverina points out.

Naive observers expect the KDU-CSL to be sensitive in social terms. Instead, they register the party´s populist gestures only. The present centre-left cabinet boasts that unlike its predecessors it thinks about people´s needs. Maybe it does, but it focuses on selected people´s needs only, Zverina adds.

It is politically short-sighted to attack the Czech successful tennis player Petra Kvitova for paying taxes in Monaco rather than in the Czech Republic, Jan Keller writes in Pravo.

In a way, Kvitova has helped the left by refuting the right wing´s allegation that the country would see an outbreak of an unprecedented prosperity if the income and corporate taxes were steeply reduced, Keller writes.

Such reduction benefits only those whose operation is tied with the given country´s territory. The best-paid jobs, however, are usually very mobile, not linked to a certain country, and their protagonists always leave for a country with even lower taxes sooner or later, Keller writes.

A reduction of the corporate tax is of no use either, unless the given country decides to become a tax paradise and thus obviously sponge on other countries´ economies, Keller says.

The right wing, with its mouth full of patriotism, has understood nothing of how global economy works, he says.

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