Czech press survey - June 18


18.06.2014 07:32

Prague - Citizen Milos Zeman is paying off what politician Zeman is spending, Jana Bendova writes in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) about the Czech president´s initiative to help repay the state debt.


Ministr financí Andrej Babiš (vpravo) představil 17. června v Praze spolu s prezidentem Milošem Zemanem, jak se posílí investiční výdaje státu. Tématem byla také otázka státního dluhu. Zeman předal Babišovi milionový dluhopis, který pořídil za peníze svého fondu. Cenný papír pak zničili (na snímku) a peníze tak propadnou státu na umoření dluhu. ČTK Doležal Michal

Zeman regularly sends one-third of his monthly salary to his foundation aimed at reducing the state debt.

Bendova recalls that on Tuesday Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) cut a state bond worth one million crowns into pieces in a symbolic act of cutting the state debt.

The president has contributed to his fund along with the finance minister and other "sinful" politicians will allegedly contribute, too, Bendova adds.

However, the reality is that during the government of PM Zeman (in office 1998-2002), the state debt increased by 200 billion crowns. In addition, his current Presidential Office has demanded that its budget for next year rise by a few dozens of millions of crowns and it will get them, Bendova notes.

"Milos Zeman has now ceremonially paid off one million. A really good show," Bendova concludes.

The quite chaotic Czech system of tax reliefs should be revised, but Finance Minister Andrej Babis apparently does not intend to do so, David Klimes writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

He adds that Babis has recently proved he does not really mean his proposals.

He recently announced that he would like to abolish the tax relief for contributions to trade unions. However a day later, after a meeting with the umbrella Bohemia and Moravia Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS), Babis withdrew his proposal. Moreover, he nodded to the preservation of other tax reliefs that were questioned, Klimes says.

Yet Babis´s original proposal was very relevant. The Czech version of tax exemptions is namely strange. While support to housing, life and pension insurance, education and gifts among tax deductible expenses is substantiated, an advantage for trade unionists is not, Klimes points out.

The state should first clearly define its priorities in this area and then tax reliefs for trade unionists could be abolished, Klimes notes.

War veterans alone should assess whether the monument in memory of Czechoslovak WWII pilots in the British Royal Air Force (RAF), unveiled in Prague centre on Tuesday, is "an unacceptable kitsch," Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

The monument, a two-metre bronze statue of a winged lion donated by the British community living in the Czech Republic, is opposed by heritage protectors.

Petracek writes that Czechs have heard for years that they have not coped with their history, even if 25 years have passed since the collapse of the communist regime in November 1989.

"However, it is even more true that we have not coped with the culture of monuments in 25 years," he writes.

Almost every monument that has appeared since then is labelled as an act of amateurism or even kitsch, Petracek writes.

"However, Prague lacks a modern, either fervent or only symbolical, memorial to the History. The winged lion donated by Britons has changed nothing in this opinion. "It may at the most support it by its unwanted comic," Petracek concludes.

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