Czech press survey - July 19


19.07.2014 13:09

Prague - The conservative opposition TOP 09 is testing voters´ memory and tolerance by fielding Martin Bursik, former Greens chairman who has already run for a number of parties in various elections, as its candidate in the autumn Senate polls, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Politik Martin Bursík (na snímku z 24. listopadu 2012) se stal 16. února předsedou Liberálně ekologické strany (LES), kterou loni založil. Bývalý lídr Strany zelených neměl protikandidáta. ČTK Vostárek Josef

Brusik is undoubtedly a clever and hard-working man. From a certain point of view, his candidacy for TOP 09 means the return of a prodigious son. In 2003, he left the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL, from which TOP 09 splintered off in 2009) only because they did not fulfil their promise to make him a minister, Zverina writes.

As the Greens chairman later in the 2000s, Bursik made the party acceptable for a majority voter. In early 2007, he managed to bring noble Karel Schwarzenberg to the government as a popular foreign minister nominated by the Greens. It is not surprising that now Bursik is running for TOP 09, a party headed by Schwarzenberg, Zverina writes.

Bursik´s siding with TOP 09, however, must embarrass members of the Liberal Ecological Party (LES), which he established last year and who pinned their hopes on him, Zverina adds.

Bursik actually does not change his views, he pursues still the same priorities without opinion twists and turns. However, his ways to achieve leading positions are very unscrupulous. Any time he finds a political project unpromising, he abandons it and either launches or joins another, more promising one, Zverina writes.

In Pravo, Lukas Jelinek criticises the extensive personnel changes Finance Minister and ANO movement chairman Andrej Babis has made in state-owned and co-owned companies.

Under the communist regime, companies´ top managers were exclusively members of communist organisations such as the Communist Party, the Socialist Youth Union, the ROH trade union etc. At present, these posts seem to be filled with members and collaborators of ANO, close friends of Babis and managers of Agrofert, a giant holding owned by Babis, Jelinek writes.

He say he does not suspect Babis of wanting to pilfer the state or introduce dictatorship. Babis is doing his best. He has no clue about the principle of the brakes and counterweights in parliamentary democracy. He considers parliament useless chatter. He considers politics an "inferior" thing that complicates the state management, Jelinek writes.

Babis would prefer a different model. He would like the governance to go to those who buy the largest amount of shares, Jelinek writes.

Babis manages the Finance Ministry like a company and he does not admit his steps being controlled by anyone, not even by ANO´s government partners, Jelinek concludes.

Tomas Durdik did very well as the Prague City Court judge handling the case of a seven-member gang that kidnapped Czechs and killed two in order to gain their money, Jakub Pokorny writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

Some may be surprised at the toughest sentence, life imprisonment, being imposed on the gang´s head Michael Svab and his closest aide Libor Skopalik, and not on Petr Klement, who committed the two murders. However, such verdict is a message that the toughest sentence need not go only to those who squeezed the trigger, Pokorny points out.

Klement, the assassin, was given 30 years in jail "only." His story reminds of Victor the Cleaner, the assassin from the film Nikita who acts like a machine. The judge said he considers the mastermind´s role more malignant, Pokorny writes.

The verdict for the Svab gang is warning for those who seek money without killing someone, but who do not consider another´s death an obstacle. It is a correct verdict, Pokorny writes.

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