Czech press survey - May 23


23.05.2014 07:43

Prague - The EU elections are viewed as rather unimportant by Czechs as there is no big issue they would decide on, but this is positive in a way, Petr Kambersky writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Ilustrační foto - Premiér a předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři na oslavě 1. máje, ke které se sociální demokraté sešli na Střeleckém ostrově v Praze. ČTK Neliba Martin

When Europe shares a big joint election theme one day, it definitely will not be good times. Either the EU will face a big crisis or a crisis will be in the offing, Kambersky writes.

If so, the election ballots would be cast by nations that would be scared, frightened and open to alarmist populism. This probably would not end well, Kambersky writes.

Such a joint theme could be Europe´s closing itself to the external world, a restriction of the four fundamental internal freedoms or, on the contrary, an attempt to force flat taxes on all, Kambersky writes.

Rather than this, may the EU elections remain "about nothing," he concludes.

Prime Minister and Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Bohuslav Sobotka would prove himself as a promising political "chess player" if he decided to sacrifice Pavel Mertlik as the CSSD´s nominee for an EU commissioner in order to oust Pavel Telicka as the rival nominee fielded by the junior governing ANO, Miroslav Korecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

He discusses the speculation that Sobotka may agree with the smallest government partner, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), on the CSSD´s support for the KDU-CSL nominee Zuzana Roithova, which would block the nomination of Telicka as another triumph of Finance Minister Andrej Babis´s expansive ANO.

This move, which chess players call the queen´s gambit, would prevent Telicka´s nomination in spite of ANO´s expected victory in the May 23-24 EU elections, Korecky writes.

Allying with the KDU-CSL may become a general method for Sobotka to face the huge pressure by ANO. The role of an expedient ally suits the KDU-CSL, which used its position of a kingmaker many times in the past to gain prestigious posts such as the Senate and the Supreme Audit Office heads, Korecky says.

A possible CSSD-KDU-CSL agreement on Roithova (now a MEP) as the Czech EU commissioner would make the situation unpleasant for Babis, as Telicka undoubtedly has not had himself recruited by ANO to be an ordinary Czech lawmaker only, Korecky writes.

Nevertheless, the chess theory knows a number of ways to parry the queen´s gambit. Let´s wait and see how good chess player Babis is, Korecky concludes.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) is wrong when calling the "second pillar" of the pension system, i.e. private pension saving, "an appendix" that must be cut off, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).

In fact the second pillar, introduced by the previous right-wing government, is a response to the population ageing, as a result of which the present state pay-as-you-go pension system will be unable to secure dignified old age for those in their thirties now, Honzejk writes.

Sobotka offers nothing to solve the problem, Honzejk points out.

Once vowing to scrap the second pillar, the CSSD insists on the abolition in spite of the step´s irrationality, though it could admit that the plan is wrong and withdraw from it, Honzejk says.

The abolition of the second pillar is dangerous, not only because it amounts to ideologically-motivated irresponsibility, he continues.

To those who have already joined the second pillar, the abolition would show that the state is completely unreliable. Any further attempts to escape from the demographic trap would be viewed by people with mistrust, Honzejk says.

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