Czech press survey - July 16


16.07.2014 07:36

Prague - The Czech governing coalition has failed to explain to people why professional civil servants are important for a proper functioning of the state administration, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo today, alluding to the civil service bill now discussed by parliament.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří 15. července na mimořádné schůzi Poslanecké sněmovny v Praze. ČTK Šimánek Vít

A public opinion poll has shown that three in four Czechs do not expect the law, if implemented, to have any positive effect, Jelinek recalls.

The government vows that it will discuss the choice of the candidate for the state administration general director, a newly introduced post, with the opposition, but its assertions do not sound much convincing, Jelinek says.

On the other hand, the opposition TOP 09 is criticising the centre-left cabinet´s civil service bill, though TOP 09 did nothing to promote such a bill, which the country really needs and which is a condition for the Czech drawing of EU subsidies, as a governing party in 2010-2013, Jelinek points out.

A fresh poll released by the CVVM agency has shown that almost two-thirds of Czechs are satisfied with their lives, which is a rather misleading result, Jan Keller writes elsewhere in Pravo.

Politicians may rejoice at people´s rising satisfaction and they may ascribe it to their own improving political performance, he says.

However, the poll surveyed only people´s satisfaction with their own lives. If people were asked to assess the society they live in, the poll´s result would be diametrally different, Keller points out.

In other countries, too, the gap between people´s satisfaction their lives and with the state of their respective societies has been rising, he writes.

Let´s not allow to be misled by people´s satisfaction with their lives. It does not reflect their satisfaction with the society, let alone with politicians´ performance. It reflects people´s intensifying tendency to rely on strong leaders who would do all work for them. In the Czech Republic, fortunately, such a strong leader is "only [Finance Minister and ANO movement chairman] Andrej Babis for the time being, not Marine Le Pen," Keller concludes.

Despite critics´ argument that Jean-Claude Juncker is a representative of the EU mainstream and no changes can be expected from him as the new EC president, the European Parliament could not be expected to choose anyone else, Petr Pesek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

The EU recently went through a period of financial instability and a corresponding political instability. First, tension has arisen between Britain and Brussels, and between Paris and Berlin.

Second, anti-Brussels parties scored success in the May European elections as a result of a bad mood of voters in Europe, Pesek writes.

The choice of Juncker, former Luxembourg prime minister and protector of the euro, is meant as a solution to the latter problem at least, Pesek says.

The only thing that can be said about Juncker´s EC presidency now is that it will enhance the EP´s power, as it was the EP from where his candidacy emerged, Pesek writes.

Juncker´s speech on Tuesday corresponded to the Brussels consensus spirit in its effort to meet the expectations of both the right and the left wings, Pesek says.

Nevertheless, his call for controlled "re-industrialisation," state investments and a minimum wage sounded more loud than as a mere rhetoric for the left to hear before the crucial vote, Pesek writes.

When Jose Manuel Barroso arrived at the EU helm, many pinned great hopes on him, but the Brussels "waters neutralised him." Unlike him, Juncker is viewed as "the fire keeper." If he surprises, he can do so only positively, Pesek adds.

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