Czech press survey - March 26


26.03.2014 07:43

Prague - A politician who threatens to eliminate a media over what it writes is dangerous, Karel Skrabal says in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today, referring to billionaire and Finance Minister Andrej Babis´s aggressive lash-out at Echo24 server.


Ministr financí Andrej Babiš. ČTK Šimánek Vít

Babis recently indicated that he may have Echo24 owner´s property situation checked over possible irregularity.

A politician cannot dare anything similar if he/she wants to be trustworthy. A politician who does so is dangerous to democracy and freedom, which are the greatest and the most important values, Skrabal writes.

With his aggressiveness, Babis showed an approach similar to that of President Milos Zeman, who in the past threatened to destroy the Respekt weekly magazine, Skrabal writes.

Babis, who has cumulated financial, media and political power, is the biggest problem of the present Czech political scene and he should refrain from strong words instead of doing the opposite, Skrabal writes.

The popularity of Babis´s ANO movement is peaking now as people pin their hopes on it, but it will start declining soon after they get disappointed. How Babis will behave under the pressure of unsuccess and public disfavour, if he behaves so dangerously now? Skrabal asks.

The present Czech cabinet has been in office for a mere two months and its governance could not bring any palpable results as yet, but still many Czechs may use the forthcoming EU elections to protest against it, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo.

Every society has a certain share of people who are dissatisfied because their lives differ from what they dream of. These people cast protest votes in elections, Mitrofanov writes.

In the EU polls, two groups of politicians will seek support from those dissatisfied. One group blames immigrants for all troubles, though this argument is irrelevant in the Czech Republic, unlike elsewhere in the EU, Mitrofanov says.

The other group blames all troubles on Brussels, he adds.

Both groups share the same position on whether the EU should continue building its own identity or gradually come under the influence of Russia. In this respect, both groups side with the Kremlin, along with Marine Le Pen, Mitrofanov concludes.

Elsewhere in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), Jakub Pokorny discusses the problem of aggressive football fans in reaction to a violent skirmish at a national football league match last week.

The problem became urgent in 2008 when the first football fan died after dropping out from a going train with raging rowdies. In reaction to the accident, the state enabled the most aggressive fans to be punished in criminal proceedings in improvised courtrooms at football stadiums, Pokorny recalls.

As the fans later calmed down, the then interior minister Ivan Langer (Civic Democrats, ODS) in 2009 pushed through the police´s withdrawal from sport stadiums. He argued that the police have to focus on more important tasks than securing peace at sports events, Pokorny writes.

Langer´s decision was evidently wrong as the aggressiveness of fans intensified again. Now that several people were injured during the Sparta Praha vs Banik Ostrava match, Education, Youth and Sports Minister Marcel Chladek (Social Democrats, CSSD) calls for the life ban from matches as the toughest possible punishment for the aggressors, Pokorny writes.

It is understandable, but sanctions of various strength should be defined reasonably, because if "banned for life," many ardent fans could vent their aggression elsewhere or enter football stadiums illegally, Pokorny writes.

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