Czech press survey - March 25


25.03.2014 07:38

Prague - The signature of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) under the fiscal compact can be put on the first page of a textbook on populism, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka vystoupil 21. března v Bruselu na tiskové konferenci po konci summitu EU. ČTK Dospiva Jakub

The Czech government approved the signing of the compact on Monday.

The "marketing side" of the whole issue is sad and even frustrating: the government is boasting that the country is becoming part of the European mainstream, but Sobotka declared that he would not act in accordance with the rules of the compact, Kambersky writes.

He notes that the signing of the compact is irrelevant because it will take effect only after the country adopts euro as its currency.

The structural deficit of the budget should be maximally 0.5 percent of GDP, but it is three times higher in the Czech Republic, Kambersky says.

Sobotka pretends to be a thrifty German, but he is actually going to run into debt like a Greek, Kambersky writes.

Marek Hudema says in Hospodarske noviny (HN) that PM Sobotka has agreed with the fiscal compact to show his government is different from that of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) who refused to sign the compact two years ago.

But Sobotka´s step towards the core of Europe is only a formal gesture that should mask reality, Hudema writes.

He says the Czech Republic will sign the compact, yet the government wants to act against its principles, planning further expenditures, not savings.

It is paradoxical. Necas was against the compact, although the compact was in line with the politics of his right-wing government - probably because of the ODS´s opposition to the EU. At present, Sobotka will sign the compact on behalf of the left wing, but he is unwilling to observe its rules, Hudema writes.

When ANO movement´s leader Andrej Babis, owner of a farming and chemical holding and a media magnate, defended Justice Minister Helena Valkova (ANO), he verbally attacked journalists who do not work in media he owns, Alexandr Mitrofanov says in Pravo.

Valkova was criticised for her statement that Czechs did not suffer under the Nazi occupation very much, Mitrofanov writes.

He says Babis did not deal with the controversial statement itself, but he accused the Echo 24 news server that interviewed Valkova of being biased and of stripping of assets the daily Lidove noviny, which he recently bought.

Mitrofanov points out that Babis did not produce any evidence for his accusation that he made at an official press conference of the government.

Babis seems to well understand finances, trading and company management, but when he is relatively successfully persuading people that he is good, he acts like an autocrat whose arguments are untrustworthy and who uses threats, Mitrofanov writes.

This is a style one can hear from Moscow these days, he adds.

By the way, Babis as Czech deputy prime minister has not made a single statement on the situation in Ukraine and Russia from the point of Czech interests and he did not condemn Putin´s actions, Mitrofanov writes.

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