Czech press survey - May 6


06.05.2014 07:27

Prague - Joachim Gauck is the most Czech-friendly German leader in the post-1989 period, and the fact alone that he is paying a three-day visit to the Czech Republic now is something special, Zbynek Petracek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Německý prezident Joachim Gauck vystoupil 5. května v Praze na tiskové konferenci spolu s českým prezidentem Milošem Zemanem (vpravo). ČTK Doležal Michal

Also unprecedented was Gauck´s October 2012 visit to Lidice, the Czech village destroyed by the Nazis, and the then first joint commemorative event attended by the German and Czech presidents, Petracek writes.

Gauck is an outstanding personality and authority. Czechs should not succumb to the impression that the special approach he has taken towards them is something they are entitled to or a matter of course that does not require further cultivation by the two nations, Petracek writes.

The purpose of Gauck´s presidency is not to kowtow to Czechs but to represent Germany. The Czechs should not accept his accommodating gestures only but also listen to what he says, for example to his criticism of Moscow´s policy of threatening and his appeal for the EU to contribute more to its defence capability, Petracek writes.

Only rarely do German leaders speak that directly, he adds.

Czech President Milos Zeman criticises large-scale thieves and businessmen sponging on the state, he promotes the introduction of property statements and wants clerks and politicians to be honest, but on the other side his close aide is Martin Nejedly, the very opaque head of the Czech branch of Lukoil, Jana Bendova writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

The CV of Nejedly, one of the leaders of the Citizens´ Rights Party (SPO), has been kept secret almost as a state secret, as have been Nejedly´s business activities and the origin of his property. At the same time, Nejedly owes a fine worth millions of crowns to the state, Bendova writes.

One wonders why does Zeman, who worships transparency, keep Nejedly as his close aide? Maybe in accordance with his previously pronounced motto: "The basic managerial rule is that a manager should surround himself with people who are more clever than himself," Bendova concludes.

Local Development Minister Vera Jourova´s (ANO) plan to draft an entirely new bill on public procurement is laudable because the present law is incomprehensible as a result of numerous amendments and it paradoxically blocks public procurement, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN).

Mayors refrain from placing public orders out of fear that they may be arrested by the zealous police, Honzejk writes, adding that the complex law always offers a reason for any public order to be challenged as suspicious.

Honzejk gives Blanka, Prague´s big underground tunnel complex now under construction, as an example. The construction was recently halted for a few months because Prague Mayor Tomas Hudecek needed to gain an official "confirmation" - via an arbitration between the city and the Metrostav construction company - that he is doing nothing that could be challenged, Honzejk writes.

He says the previous cabinet introduced too tough anti-corruption elements in the public procurement law, and warns that Jourova may now do the opposite and soften the rules excessively.

The new bill should be simple and it should be drafted quickly, but in drafting it, Jourova should not totally omit anti-corruption elements, Honzejk writes.

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