Czech press survey - June 25


25.06.2014 07:36

Prague - The Czech opposition right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) must primarily clearly say why voters should support it, otherwise no internal reforms will help the party avert its political decline, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.



He notes that ODS conservative chairman Petr Fiala has been apparently inspired by a revolution as he announced he was planning two congresses - a standard pre-election one and a revolutionary one in January.

Fiala indicates that he is preparing something that may be painful and afterwards either he will not survive or many of his opponents will have to go, Kambersky adds.

There is no wonder since the party is in trouble. It is still near the bottom though a year has passed since Fiala was elected a new chairman.

The ODS can get rid of all reasons why people do not vote for it and all "crackerjacks" due to whom they did not vote for it. But until the party gives people three clear arguments why to vote for it, all analyses and campaigns with the aim to purge it will be pointless, Kambersky writes.

Elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN) Petr Pesek comments on the BIS counter-intelligence service on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the law that embedded the rules of its functioning.

He says it seems that 20 years are not enough in a political life as Czech legislators are still solving with whom BIS officers can speak - whether only with ministers or also with their deputies and other senior officials. Yet the law sets clear and comprehensible rules, he adds.

Nevertheless, the main problem is the permanent effort to draw secret services into the settling of old political scores, Pesek points out.

Especially in the case of the civilian counter-intelligence service, it would be enough to redirect the activity slightly: to take BIS results seriously and not to throw them away, Pesek concludes.

The practice that a politician must stand a higher level of criticism than ordinary citizens has become common in the Czech Republic, but courts should be able to distinguish a criticism from a slander, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

He comments on the Monday verdict of judge Vojtech Cepl who rejected Education Minister Marcel Chladek´s complaint against a weekly that without submitting any evidence connected him with dubious contracts of former regional governor David Rath who is charged with corruption.

Two constitutional rights are opposed to each other in similar disputes - the freedom of expression and the right to protection of personal dignity, Honzejk points out.

However, if freedom of expression is being adored at the expense of other rights, there is a danger that it will start ruining them.

"If we are not able to and are not even trying to distinguish criticism from a slander, one can fuse with the other and thereby a discussion alone will disappear and will be replaced with a series of revolutionary shouts with unpredictable consequences," Honzejk writes.

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