Czech press survey - July 17


17.07.2014 07:42

Prague - It is apparent that even the Czech Republic may become a target of Islamist terrorists if diplomats had to leave the Czech embassy in Kabul for safety reasons, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Afghánské bezpečnostní síly na místě sebevražedného útoku. ČTK/AP Massoud Hossaini

Recent attacks in Afghanistan claimed the lives of five Czech soldiers and another one was injured.

Kambersky writes no one can say that Czechs became a target of the Taliban attack in Bagram by mistake. They are part of the forces commanded by the U.S.

Taliban gunmen may not distinguish the allied troops from various countries. However, it is also possible that they have started distinguishing them and that Czech soldiers and Czech facilities could and can fall victims to a targeted attack, Kambersky notes.

The situation demands a revision of security measures, taken either by the Foreign Ministry or the Interior Ministry. And above all, it is necessary that the head of state [President Milos Zeman] give up his autotelic and very dangerous verbal provocations aimed at the Muslim world, Kambersky concludes.

Czechs may need a special European commissioner to help them choose their representative in the European Commission (EC), David Klimes writes with irony in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

He comments on the embarrassing disputes about this post in the government coalition of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) that has not yet been able to agree on one candidate.

What seemed to be an absurd joke a couple of weeks ago has become reality now - PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) has left for Brussels to ask EC President Jean-Claude Juncker whether he knows any capable Czech candidate, Klimes writes, hinting at Deputy PM and ANO chairman Andrej Babis´s previous proposal that the new EC head may choose the Czech commissioner himself.

However, state representatives should persuade Juncker about the nominations for EU commissioner and he should not be drawn into the Czech tug-of-war in which no one wants to give in, Klimes points out.

It cannot be ruled out that Juncker will really choose the best possible candidate for the Czech Republic eventually, he adds.

"The current inability to send a Czech representative to Brussels provokes a question, which is actually not such a strong exaggeration: Could not be the post of commissioner to aid Czechs with the selection of European commissioner added to the European executive?" Klimes writes.

The selection of a new Czech EU commissioner is gradually turning into "trench warfare," Miroslav Korecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

Similar to the previous government, the current centre-left cabinet of Bohuslav Sobotka has underestimated the political impact of a significant nomination, Korecky says.

However, in this case testosterone plays a bigger role than a particular name, he adds, hinting at the clashes between Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD, head) and Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO chairman).

The final choice of one name will have the only effect: If the Social Democrats´ candidate, former finance minister Pavel Mertlik, is pushed through, it will strengthen Sobotka´s position. If Local Development Minister Vera Jourova, proposed by Babis's ANO, becomes EU commissioner, it will weaken both Sobotka and Babis.

Sobotka will look like a "botcher" in the CSSD´s eyes, while Babis will lose one of his most competent people at home, Korecky says.

In the situation where his star orchestra is slightly disintegrating, Jourova´s possible triumph may be "a Pyrrhic victory," Korecky concludes.

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