published: 02.03.2013, 12:57 | updated: 02.03.2013 12:59:39
Prague - The Civic Democrats (senior government ODS) claim that Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) is behind their plummeting preferences, but not even the bad man Kalousek can be so powerful, Jiri Hanak writes in daily Pravo today.
The general election is due next year, the ODS popularity has been falling, the party has no potential new leaders and the rank and file members are leaving, Hanak writes.
He says the Civic Democrats therefore decided to blame its coalition partner, TOP 09, and declare that they had nothing to do with the unpopular steps.
But the austerity measures were jointly introduced by the ODS and TOP 09. The ODS never protested against the huge gift to Czech churches called the church restitution, or lower salaries for civil servants, the VAT raising or cuts concerning pensioners and disabled people, Hanak points out.
He says Prime Minister and ODS chairman Petr Necas supported all Kalousek´s plans and did his utmost to push them through parliament.
Necas used lawmaker Roman Pekarek, charged with corruption, and only after a crucial vote he called on him to leave the ODS and give up his lawmaker´s mandate. Necas gave Liberal Democrat (junior government LIDEM) leader Karolina Peake the post of defence minister to win her party´s support only to sack her as defence minister eight days later, Hanak writes.
There is only one Kalousek´s plan that the ODS rejected - his proposal to slightly increase taxes for the rich. And the ODS succeeded in limiting these increased taxes for one year, Hanak says.
Prime Minister Petr Necas and his team makes the impression that they want to leave the country in the worst condition possible because they know their rule will end soon and they want the next left-wing government to be unable to get the situation under control, Jan Keller writes elsewhere in Pravo.
In the past few years the government managed to significantly lower domestic agriculture production and to turn Czech fields and meadows into the provider of the probably most expensive electricity in Europe, Keller says, referring to solar panels.
As a result, the Czech Republic has plenty of power it does not need and it has to import food, Keller writes.
Instead of growing potatoes, onions and garlic, we import them from the neighbouring or distant foreign countries. In 2012, the Czech Republic paid tens of billions of crowns for the import vegetables, fruit and other farming products, he writes.
The Czechs markedly limited the rearing of pigs only to import half of the pork from Germany, he adds.
This is the work of Necas´s centre-right government that made savings its priority, he says with irony.
Czech citizens have to manage to somehow cover the costs of the overpriced solar energy and still have some money left to buy the imported food whose prices keep going up, Keller concludes.
Loyalty and rewarding of allies are an integral part of politics which is a reconciliation of differing interests, Martin Weiss writes in Lidove noviny in relation to a criminal complaint against ODS rebels Ivan Fuksa and Marek Snajdr who left parliament and received senior posts in state-run firms.
Lawyer Vaclav Laska claims that the Fuksa and Snajdr might have accepted a bribe from ODS leader and PM Necas, Weiss recalls.
Fuksa and Snajdr were rebels refusing to support a government crucial tax package in the lower house of parliament where the coalition had a shaky majority, but they finally agreed to give up their lawmaker´s mandates. Afterwards Fuksa was named member of the the supervisory board of Cepro state-run fuel distributor. Fuksa became managing director of Czech Aeroholding aviation holding.
Weiss quotes Laska as saying the court proceeding should set the borders between politics and criminal law.
Such practices nevertheless cannot be removed from politics because this would in fact mean to remove politics as such. Weiss writes.
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