Czech press survey - May 29


29.05.2014 17:49

Prague - The 5-percent parliamentary threshold valid in the Czech Republic is useless in the case of elections to the European Parliament (EP) and should be abolished, Petr Fischer writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.


Volby, urna - ilustrační foto. ČTK Šálek Václav

Consequently, the constitutional complaint against it to be filed by the Pirate Party and the Greens (SZ), which did not enter the EP in the May 23-24 EU polls due to this clause, may be substantiated, Fischer indicates.

Moreover, the parties can argue with a significant verdict of the German Constitutional Court (US).

It ruled that the election clause setting the minimal share of the vote has no sense for the EP as it does not help its better functioning. On the contrary, it is necessary in elections to national parliaments to create a stable majority that would form a government, Fischer recalls.

The German court simply says the EP is no parliament in the traditional sense of the word. It is rather a negotiating forum with certain powers, a hybrid that has actually no impact on the executive decision-making in the EU, Fischer writes in LN.

The Czech government´s decision to raise civil servants´ pay by 3.5 percent as from 2015 is not logical from the economic point of view, Petr Kambersky writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

In a normal firm, employees´ salaries are rising if the firm is thriving and reaches a considerable profit or if it needs to keep people in key posts. However, this is not the case of the Czech Republic, Kambersky says.

Why is it raising its employees´ wages then? he asks.

He recalls that the state budget deficit is to be 100 billion crowns at least this year.

"To raise wages in an indebted firm is something between a mistake and a crime," Kambersky points out.

Another mistake is to add money to the public sector where wages are higher than in the private sector now, he says.

The third objection is the most significant: Why to raise all civil servants´ salaries across the board?

The state thereby shows that it does not follow "the economic reason" at all. By raising wages the government is only purchasing civil servants´ votes and moreover, on credit, Kambersky concludes.

A Czech constitutional bill on budget responsibility to reduce the state debt, which Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) has submitted, is useful but it will hardly curb exorbitant state expenditures, Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

The legislation´s purpose should be "an austerity hell" aimed at all state bodies and officials that which automatically break loose after a certain level of the state debt is exceeded. The bill proposes the limit between 45 and 60 percent of GDP, while the current state debt amounts to 46 percent of GDP and it keeps rising, Steigerwald recalls.

Yet, "all want to spend money" and politicians only need some coverage to protect them from the concerned public, Steigerwald says.

In addition, the bill will probably not be passed soon since a constitutional majority of at least 120 MPs is needed to push it through, he adds.

Politicians should realise that even a low state debt is harmful. A businessman´s debt is to increase his profit but the state debt is merely to increase the government´s popularity at the expense of the future, Steigerwald writes in MfD.

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