Prague - Central and Eastern Europe saved the European Union, Jan Machacek says in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today about the results of the European Parliament elections held last week.
He says the European mainstream political establishment should express its thanks to countries like Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for the fact that acceptable pro-European parties will continue to hold 70 percent of seats in the EP.
The French result is so horrible that the ignoring of the EP elections by Czech and Slovak voters does not seem very bad anymore, Machacek writes, referring to the victory of the nationalists headed by Marie Le Pen and 20-percent turnout in the Czech Republic and the 13-percent turnout in Slovakia.
Moreover, the elite of the new Czech MEPs is rather good: a former EU commissioner, a former justice minister and a former vice governor of the central bank, he adds.
But who knows what the Czech result would be if majority of the voters cast their ballots, Machacek concludes.
The Czech government coalition agreed on a few surprisingly reasonable steps on Tuesday, Petr Kambersky writes in Lidove noviny (LN) about the planned increase of tax deductions for the second and third children and progress in the bill on civil servants.
However, the coalition also wants to make one shameful thing: people who continue working in the civil service after they reached retirement age would only have 12-month employment contracts, so that their bosses can dismiss them at the end of the year, Kambersky writes.
This proposal is against good morals and it opposes the anti-discrimination law, he says.
One would not expect the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) to suggest that employees should be sacked only because their age is higher than 63, Kambersky concludes.
Lukas Jelinek says in Pravo that the most dangerous ideas are rash plans to make changes in the election rules voiced by politicians.
President Milos Zeman recently repeated his call for compulsory participation in elections, Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) promotes a majority electoral system and the Dawn of Direct Democracy wants to promptly push through direct elections of mayors, Jelinek writes.
After the Czech results of the European election were released, Babis resolutely called for the shortening of the voting from two days to one day in the country, in order to save money, and for introducing electronic voting, in order to increase turnout, Jelinek says.
But election rules should stay, while politicians rotate - not the other way round, Jelinek writes.
Electoral systems and the related laws should be first analyses by lawyers and political scientists, he says.