Czech press survey - September 1


01.09.2014 07:36

Prague - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) wanted to again show that he is also capable of banging the table when he said the Czechs reserve the right to think about whether to join the EU sanctions against Russia, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Český premiér Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři v Bruselu 31. srpna nad ránem, krátce po konci summitu EU. Evropská komise má spolu s diplomaty do týdne navrhnout podobu dalšího přitvrzení protiruských sankcí, rozhodl v noci na neděli summit. Podle Sobotky mají být konkrétní návrhy na posun podoby sankcí připraveny už v pondělí. Česká vláda o nich poté bude jednat a podle Sobotky si ČR vyhradila právo s částí návrhu nesouhlasit, pokud by znamenal třeba nepřiměřeně velké hospodářské škody. ČTK Dospiva Jakub

But Sobotka may have eventually behaved like a coward in his rare moment of courage, Pesek writes.

Sanctions are usually an expression of reserve, meaning that "we do not want to send soldiers there", or weakness, meaning that "we are not capable of doing so," Pesek writes.

If the sanctions are the sole reaction which the West is capable of taking, going against them plays into the hands of the Kremlin, especially if Sobotka does not offer any better solution, Pesek writes.

Commenting on the same issue, Alexandr Mtirofanov writes in Pravo that Sobotka, with his performance that borders on the loss of face, ranks himself among routine politicians.

They follow the voter unlike statesmen who are capable of leading in moments fatal for their nation, not letting themselves be pushed around, Mitrofanov writes.

Adam Cerny writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) that the attitude of central and east European countries at the weekend EU summit came as a surprise.

Their ten-year presence in the EU has resulted in that the prime minister of one of them, Donald Tusk of Poland, was elected the Union´s president. But it is less gratifying that particularly these states, that have a long-time tragic experience with the supremacy of Moscow, contribute to the inability to reach agreement on an effective stance on Russia, Cerny writes.

It is not even clear to what extent Czech policy is united. President Milos Zeman admits that harder sanctions against Russia will be necessary, but Prime Minister Sobotka says Prague will have to think about which of them t will join, Cerny writes.

Sobotka believes that the current strategy has been fruitless and recommends diplomacy even though it has yielded no results, Cerny writes.

Lubos Palata writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that the choice of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for the EU president is good news for Europe and it is even better for the central and east European part of the continent.

He writes that Europe deserved this post five years ago already. Tusk´s election, which was due to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, coming form the former East Germany, is an honour to the "new Europe," which joined the EE ten years ago.

The effect of the successful EU extension eastwards is even more evident now, that Ukraine´s effort to be headindg in the same direction has provoked a brutal revenge by its Russian neighbour, Palata writes.

Poland has always kept to the slogan "without free Ukraine there will be no free Poland," Palata writes.

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