published: 12.03.2013, 07:22 | updated: 12.03.2013 07:26:35
Prague - It would be optimal if the Czech Constitutional Court (US) swept the Senate´s high treason charges against former president Vaclav Klaus off the table, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny today, commenting on the US´s forthcoming closed meeting that is to discuss the charges.
True, Klaus did not always behave in harmony with the Constitution. He showed reluctance in signing international agreements, refused to respect courts, and his pardoning of economic criminals is condemnable, Honzejk writes.
However, these "faults" of Klaus were scarce and by no means as intensive as to paralyse the rule of law in the Czech Republic, Honzejk writes.
None of Klaus´s steps amounts to treason, let alone high treason, he adds.
For example, Klaus´s New Year amnesty definitely caused problems to a number of those damaged by the pardoned criminals or suspects. However, a certain extent of injustice simply belongs to democracy, Honzejk says.
Democracy is no divine kingdom but an intersection or a battlefield of interests whose political backing depends on election results. Suing Klaus is as logical filing charges against any government over raising taxes or lowering welfare benefits, Honzejk writes.
Czech opposition Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Bohuslav Sobotka, who until recently admitted that the CSSD might rule with the Communists´ (KSCM) support, has rejected the idea now, Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes.
Sobotka has changed his mind over the CSSD´s fresh experience with Communist councillors who entered most of the CSSD-controlled regional governments after last autumn´s regional polls, Steigerwald writes.
In reaction to people´s pressure, the most controversial Communist councillors have been forced to leave the regional governments, he recalls.
He points to the recent departure of Vaclav Kucera, former collaborator of the communist secret police StB, from the South Bohemian Council (government), and says that Vaclav Sloup, pre-1989 military border unit´s ideology instructor, is leaving the council of the Karlovy Vary region, west Bohemia.
Both have been replaced by fellow "Communists without a past." The CSSD does not mind ruling in regions together with the Communists except those who worked with the StB or were ideology instructors, Steigerwald writes ironically.
Why is a young communist without a past better than an old communist with the [dark] past? The former is even worse, because he/she entered the KSCM at the time when its criminal history was well known to all, Steigerwald says.
Fresh estimates have shown that the state will not collect the planned two billion crowns in the so called "millionaire tax" or "solidarity tax" which the government imposed on the richest people as from 2013 within its tax package aimed to reduce the budget gap, Lenka Zlamalova writes in Lidove noviny.
As could be expected, the country´s 70,000 best paid employees, including bankers and energy managers, knew well how to avoid paying the solidarity tax. They evidently paid out their bonuses for 2012 already before Christmas 2012, instead of January 2013, as would be usual, and thereby saved millions of crowns, Zlamalova writes.
From the beginning, the millionnaire tax has been motivated purely politically, not economically. It was to be a gesture showing to the Czechs, in the difficult period of crisis, that the rich will contribute more than the rest to the state budget, Zlamalova writes.
However, the rich have avoided showing solidarity. It may sound cynical, but the best-paid employees, too, consider the state´s approach to them unjust. Unfortunately, the best-paid employees are the most tax-burdened group of all, Zlamalova writes.
As an argument she points to the high taxes this group pays compared with the group of self-employed people. She also says the taxes the best-paid employees pay in the Czech Republic are higher than in selected foreign countries.
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