Czech press survey - May 26


26.05.2014 07:33

Prague - All major Czech dailies today comment on the elections to the European Parliament (EP), in particular the turnout of 18.2 percent, which has been the lowest of all national elections held in the Czech Republic to date.


Ilustrační foto - Nejsilnější frakcí v novém Evropském parlamentu bude Evropská lidová strana (EPP) sdružující středopravá uskupení ČTK/AP Yves Logghe

Czech politicians should blame themselves for the record low turnout in the EP elections and they should change their way of perceiving the European agenda and presenting it to voters, Martin Zverina writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.

Some Czech politicians stupidly put the blame either on former euro-sceptical president Vaclav Klaus or on Brussels. However, the poor turnout was caused by the joint campaign of both euro-sceptics and euro-optimists, Zverina says.

The members of the freshly elected European Parliament have ended up in a precarious situation - they have stronger powers than their predecessors but at the same time lower legitimacy. This can hardly give them the right to issue directives influencing national governments and parliaments, Zverina notes.

"Instead of attempting to change Europe, it would be more reasonable if they reformed themselves," Zverina writes.

The unwillingness of most voters to take any stance "has won" in the EP elections, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

He says Czech parties are not even trying to conceal that they do not care for the European Parliament as such, but they consider the EP elections a mere tool of domestic politics, accompanied by a "pleasant financial bonus, Honzejk points out.

This leads to a debate full of hypocrisy and promises that can never be fulfilled, which does not motivate voters to go to the polls. On the contrary, it makes them feel more and more alienated from the EP and thereby also from other European institutions, Honzejk adds

The results of particular parties are not the most important factor. Actually none of them has won the EP elections. The real winner is the citizens´ feeling that no matter what they do, they can change nothing, Honzejk says.

Such indifference is "malignant" in democracy. Its removal should start where it has its roots - in top politics, Honzejk concludes.

The lack of interest in the EP elections in the Czech Republic and all over the continent is a symptom of a strong disease of the European Union alone, Miroslav Korecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today, commenting on possible reasons for the record low turnout.

He says the clear winner of the EP elections is "a non-voter."

He writes that Czechs may have been tired of too many elections in a row that are held for two days. Moreover, the election campaign of most parties was quite dull, featuring indistinctive faces.

After ten years of EU membership the identification of Czech with the EU is paradoxically weakening and their scepticism is rising.

This is a trend in the whole Europe, which is a warning message sent to the EU leaders. Will they start dealing with it or will they try to ignore it once more? Korecky asks in MfD.

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