Czech press survey - July 29


29.07.2014 07:33

Prague - Czech Finance Minister and ANO movement chairman Andrej Babis says he feels ashamed of the poor performance of the Chamber of Deputies, but the performance of "his" Finance Ministry is far from less questionable, Michal Musil writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.


Ministr financí Andrej Babiš byl 29. června v Praze hostem diskusního pořadu České televize Otázky Václava Moravce. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Last week, a deputy finance minister lodged a criminal complaint about a case for which another deputy finance minister was responsible. The two should have better settled the problem between themselves, should not they? Musil asks.

Furthermore, Babis sacked the director of the Thermal hotel in Karlovy Vary, west Bohemia, whom he appointed to the post a moth ago after sacking the previous director. This is how prudent personnel policy does not look like, Musil writes.

Another imprudent decision of Babis is his choice of pretty but politically unexperienced entrepreneur Martina Schopperova as ANO´s candidate for Prague mayor, Musil says.

Babis´s rash decisions may backfire on him one day, Musil adds.

In Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), Vaclav Dolejsi assesses as uncertain the prospects of the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Social Democrats (CSSD), which together gained two thirds of the vote in the 2006 general election but only one third in the latest polls last autumn.

In the mid-2000s, the ODS and the CSSD viewed themselves as unchallengeable giants with a position similar to the German CDU and SPD. They cherished the hope of smoothly alternating in power, which, however, has not come true, Dolejsi writes.

At present, the ODS (now a junior opposition party) is seeking ways to survive on the political scene. The CSSD (now the senior ruling party) is seeking ways not to end [marginalised] like the ODS but in fact it eagerly "copies" the ODS´s fatal mistakes such as the party´s links to regional Godfathers and a rift in the party, Dolejsi writes.

The ODS and CSSD chairmen, Petr Fiala and Bohuslav Sobotka, have each proposed steps to avert their respective parties´ further decline. Their success does not fully depend on themselves, as politics is discredited, with people taking either an irritated or indifferent approach to it, Dolejsi says.

A chance for the two parties may be if the current popular businessmen´s and populist movements run out of breath and lose the support of voters, who would turn to the traditional parties again, Dolejsi writes, alluding to ANO and the Dawn of Direct Democracy, two new parliamentary movements founded by rich businessmen.

The anniversary of World War One´s outbreak no reason for celebrations but an occasion to commemorate the dead, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) and recalls that WWI was the deepest demographic loss between the late 18th and the late 20th century.

Monuments to local men who fell as soldiers in WWI are "omnipresent" in the Czech Republic, they are practically in all towns and villages. These days they have been the venue of numerous commemorative meetings, at which Czechs pay honour to the dead, which deepens their awareness of the continuity of life and the ties between them and their ancestors, Petracek writes.

A problem is how to approach the anniversary in the border areas, former German-inhabited Sudetenland where ethnic Czechs settled down as late as after 1945? Petracek asks.

In inland villages, WWI monuments have been maintained and cared for, but not in the Sudetenland, though the local men joined the same [Austro-Hungarian] army and died in the same uniforms like the Czechs during WWI, Petracek writes.

The state will hardly do something about this. A remedy is up to local people, enthusiasts and civil groups, Petracek concludes.

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