Czech press survey - July 26


26.07.2014 14:43

Prague - The Czech government coalition pushed through on Friday the utter opposite of what 17 lawmakers of the senior ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) helped pass on Wednesday in the spirit of the Jesuit principle that the end justifies the means, and fuels excise duties will not be lowered, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo today.


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

Another result of the vote is that ANO chairman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis was not given a chance to topple the government because the CSSD would strip the state budget of 14 billion crowns if it had not prevented the lowering of the excise duties, Mitrofanov writes.

He writes that Babis is potentially the biggest danger to further developments due to his ostentatious disdain for parliamentary procedures, about which he said most recently that he does not care about them at all.

In the next move, he may show disdain for laws. After what the Social Democrats showed on Friday, they may also be close to this position. Paradoxically, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the junior government party, felt the need to dismiss these too evident manifestations of Jesuit practices in the government coalition, Mitrofanov writes.

The fact that the left wants to lower taxes, which 17 Social Democrats and all Communists (the latter stuck to their opinion until the second vote on Friday), is only seemingly paradoxical, Stanislav Balik writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

The reason is that the left likes direct taxes, that is income and property taxes. It ensues from its logic that the rich contribute more money to the state treasury, Balik writes.

Indirect taxes, such as excise and VAT, on the contrary, burden all strata of the population practically equally, he adds.

This means that the 17 courageous CSSD lawmakers, who supported the lowering of fuels excise duties on Wednesday and the 16 of them, who were humiliated and allowed the rejection of the decrease in the duties on Friday, definitely acted against the interests and functioning of the government coalition, in which the CSSD is the senior partner, but not against their own ideological nature, Balik writes.

The whole political earthquake that broke out over the validity of a vote on lowering fuels excise duties was started by an amateurish and dilettante proposal by lawmaker Milan Urban (Social Democrats, CSSD), Miroslav Petr writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

The level of lowering the diesel oil and petrol excise duties he proposed was meaningful three years ago, when he came with if for the first time and when Czech rates were above the EU average and most domestic as well as foreign lorry drivers were buying the fuels abroad, Petr writes.

However, the situation has changed since then, but no expert debate on the theme was held. All, Urban as well as his supporters on the left and on the right took the bait in the form of an attractive lowering of the duties, Petr writes.

True, lower duties should be introduced. But the proposed lowering must be preceded by an economic and really expert debate, Petr writs.

($1=20.391 crowns)

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