published: 16.10.2012, 00:22 | updated: 16.10.2012 05:12:35
Prague - The Czech ruling parties´ failure in the regional elections probably would not have been so big if the government had shown willingness to correct its reforms and fiscal policy and admit that they do not secure economic growth as expected, Martin Weiss writes in Lidove noviny today.
Only now, cornered by the election debacle, the government involuntarily plans to correct its ineffective tax policy, Weiss writes.
However, by backpedalling on the planned raising of the basic VAT rate and insisting on an increase in the lower VAT rate, which applies to a crushing majority of goods that people urgently need for life, as if the government were trying to anger as many people as possible and facilitate the job for populist critics, Weiss writes.
All of a sudden, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) no longer views a change in the government´s draft tax package as a step close to "political moronity." Instead, he says it is necessary to take into account that the government´s majority in the Chamber of Deputies has shrunk, Weiss writes.
Guess, who will enjoy this U-turn of Necas most of all? Weiss asks in conclusion, alluding to President Vaclav Klaus, whose criticism of the tax package was previously indirectly dismissed by Necas as a position "on the edge of political and economic moronity."
If Petr Necas´s (Civic Democrats, ODS) government fell, undermined by the rebelling ODS deputies, it would be extremely difficult to find a replacement for Necas as ODS chairman, since the ODS would by no means win early elections, Jindrich Sidlo writes in Hospodarske noviny.
Even if President Vaclav Klaus nodded to appointing a new government of the present coalition parties, only without Necas as prime minister, hardly any politician would seek the post of ODS chairman as it would mean leading the party to a defeat in the regular general elections due in mid-2014, Sidlo writes.
This is what the ODS rebels should consider. The rebels´ leader, MP Petr Tluchor, faces no dilemma in this respect, as no one, probably not even himself, is thinking of him as the potential successor to Necas at the party helm, Sidlo writes.
Maybe the ODS will find an extremely ambitious and courageous politician among its members, who would accept the top party post in the ODS´s present difficult situation. However, do the rebels know where such a person should be sought? Sidlo asks.
Before a candidate for chairperson is found, the ODS must realise that a party should never give up power unless it is really necessary. The ODS should rather rush along the "pass of death" in hope that it will not be knocked down, Sidlo writes.
The success of the Czech opposition Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) in the October 12-13 regional elections has caused uproar both at home and abroad, but this would have not happened if the party had renamed itself long ago as other communist parties did in the other former Soviet-bloc countries, Zbynek Petracek writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny.
If the KSCM had a different, noble name, such as Joerg Haider´s Free Party of Austria (FPOe), its election success would not irritate anyone. However, would this be correct? Petracek asks.
Although the name FPOe did not indicate any adherence to a dark ideology, still the FPOe lashed out at minorities and used a Goebbels-style vocabulary. In the Austrian elections 13 years ago, the FPOe ended second (as did the KSCM in the Czech regional polls this weekend), Petracek recalls.
Later, when the FPOe joined the Austrian cabinet and the EU countries introduced diplomatic sanctions against Austria, Vienna criticised it as pressure exerted against it, Petracek writes.
The KSCM of 2012 is not worse than the FPOe of 1999. Both of them are protest parties. The longer the establishment has ousted them, the higher their election gains are. The FPOe reached as many as 27 percent of the vote. What portion of the vote will the KSCM reach? Petracek asks in conclusion.
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