Czech press survey - June 30


30.06.2014 08:12

Prague - Czech Finance Minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babis and his predecessor and TOP 09 deputy head Miroslav Kalousek, who are the sole strong leaders in current politics, more or less reflect the division of Czech society, Miroslav Korecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Ministr financí Andrej Babiš a bývalý ministr financí Miroslav Kalousek (vlevo) byli 29. června v Praze hosty diskusního pořadu České televize Otázky Václava Moravce. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Babis and Kalousek met face to face for the first time in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec discussion programme of Czech Television on Sunday.

Previously, the tone in Czech politics was set by a conflict between Vaclav Klaus and Vaclav Havel, Klaus and Milos Zeman or Mirek Topolanek and Jiri Paroubek, Korecky writes.

In the past years, the central clash was rather foggy because the fight for the strongman on the government side was waged by Petr Necas and Kalousek, while the opposition was headed by the dull Bohuslav Sobotka, Korecky writes.

He writes that if something connects Babis and Kalousek more than their rightist leanings, it is pragmatism.

If last year´s election produced a different result, they could have ruled together. Now, however, they stand on the opposite sides of the barricade, and what is more, they face the task of embodying the central conflict of Czech politics, Korecky writes.

From the rational point of view, Kalousek is better equipped for it. But a look at popularity polls show that Babis is crushingly heading them, while Kalousek is in 28th position. And the voter is the king, Korecky writes.

The blasting of the large complex of the textile factory in Prostejov, south Moravia, on Saturday does not only provoke nostalgia or regret at the destruction of industrial architecture, it put an end to a symbol of a sort of tradition and a criterion of this country´s industrial level, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

The Prostejov blast plays a secondary role. It points to a broader erosion of famous brands and their replacement with car (Kolin) and TV screen (Hranice na Morave) assembly factories or distribution centres (Amazon), Petracek writes.

True, Amazon is a global firm, but where will its Czech centre be in a few of years? May be there, where Philips´ TV screens production ended in Hranice, Petracek writes.

On the other hand, the Prostejov family of Wichterles represents domestic elites. Not only engineering (Wikov) is connected with the name Wichterle. It is also tied with the invention and production of contact lenses, Petracek writes.

The blast in Prostejov liquidated only one former factor. In a broader sense it warns of the threatening of a tradition that had a deep sense, Petracek writes.

The outflow of voters of Tomio Okamura´s populist Dawn indicates that the public do not want adroit speakers, but people who work and show political strength, which is true of Finance Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babis, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo.

Okamura will probably have the same fate as Vit Barta´s Public Affairs: a few months of fame and nothing more, Jelinek writes.

However, not even Babis´s big popularity does not mean that people´s mistrust of politicians and parties has disappeared. A good half of respondents in sociological surveys shows a tendency towards other patterns of governance than democracy, Jelinek writes.

However, only a real populism and demagogy master can deceive the Czech voters´ natural tendency to mistrusting politicians. Fortunately, no such a person has appeared, Jelinek writes.

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