published: 05.11.2013, 07:16 | updated: 05.11.2013 07:22:32
Prague - The Czech outgoing caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok is a genuine rarity as later this month it will hand in another resignation, the second in the row after a four-month pause, by which it would enter history, Jindrich Sidlo writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
It will be charmingly bizarre end of the bizarre cabinet of adventurers who were supposed to bring the Party of Citizens´ Rights - the Zemanites (SPOZ) to the Chamber of Deputies [in the October general election], Sidlo writes.
The SPOZ suffered a debacle in the elections.
The Czech Republic had a couple of curious cabinets in the past, but the Rusnok cabinet is unparalleled, Sidlo says.
In spite of this, Rusnok´s cabinet will probably continue governing the country in early 2014 and further for an unspecified time, he says, alluding to the expected lengthy government-forming negotiations following the October 25-26 elections.
As a deterring experiment this is enough. One question has been left unanswered: does Rusnok really consider the dubious cabinet worth joining in exchange for a seat on the Czech National Bank (CNB) board? Sidlo writes.
There are no fresh public opinion polls that would map the development of President Milos Zeman´s popularity, but it seems to be declining, even among his former supporters, judging by information on social networks, Michal Musil writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
A decline in Zeman´s popularity partly resulted in the fiasco which the political party close to him, the Party of Citizens´ Rights - the Zemanites (SPOZ), suffered in the late October general election, Musil writes.
Furthermore, the decline can also be guessed from the support that leftist voters (previously Zeman´s fans) last week expressed to Bohuslav Sobotka, the Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman resented by Zeman, after his position was challenged by rivals in the party, Musil writes.
On the other hand, however, Czechs still unhealthily cling to the president as a kind of a monarch or father of the nation, expecting him to be just, resolute, left- and right-oriented at the same time and popular all over the world, in accordance with their mythicised picture of the first Czechoslovak president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, Musil writes.
It would benefit the Czechs, both as the nation and individuals, to give up this mythical claim for a president-monarch, whoever the incumbent president may be, Musil adds.
In Lidove noviny (LN), Martin Weiss focuses on the history of economic expert teams advising Czech governments.
The then Social Democrat (CSSD) finance minister Bohuslav Sobotka (2002-2006) was the first to establish such a team of independent economists. However, he only did so to show that he, a CSSD minister, is no bolshevik. He followed none of the experts´ recommendations, which was a warning experience for the experts, Weiss writes.
The team of economic advisers established by the right-wing cabinets of Civic Democrats (ODS) Mirek Topolanek (2006-2009) and Petr Necas (2010-June 2013) had a broader mandate but less was expected from it. Some of the experts´ recommendations were followed in practice and some moments of experts´ disappointment occurred as well, Weiss writes.
Nevertheless, both Topolanek and Necas did their best to keep the expert team independent. The academics among its members kept their positions as academics and the team included some economists who worked for the leftist opposition in the past, such as Jiri Rusnok and Jan Svejnar, Weiss writes.
The situation changed with Milos Zeman´s arrival as Czech president this spring. The [present, Zeman-appointed government] prefers economic advisers affiliated with particular business associations rather than independent experts, Weiss writes.
This practice culminates with the ANO movement of Andrej Babis, a potential partner in the new cabinet, whose advisory team includes three entrepreneurs who backed Babis in the election campaign, and also lobbyist Pavel Telicka, who sided with him at public election meetings, Weiss adds.
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