Czech press survey - September 2


02.09.2014 07:54

Prague - Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka should stop looking back at his Social Democrats (CSSD) and the president and start behaving like a statesman with a strong voice, Petr Fischer and Daniel Anyz write in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.


Ilustrační foto - 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

They comment on Sobotka´s reserved stance on the EU´s possible stricter sanctions against Russia after the Brussels summit.

Sobotka justified his view by his responsibility towards his own country as he must care for its economic interests, Fischer and Anyz write.

They admit that Czech diplomacy has the right to its own opinion and if this voice were constructive, sober and sensible, it would be needed. However, Sobotka´s chaotic, changeable expressions are definitely not such a voice, they add.

His statements and his overall political performance are rather a symptom of his uncertainty and not a self-confident and considerate effort to moderate the split between Russia on the one side and Ukraine and the West on the other side, Fischer and Anyz point put.

In a number of questions, it may be useful if Sobotka is looking for and respect the views in the CSSD as well as in the Presidential Office, but there are situations where a strong leader must let his own voice sound, they write.

However, Sobotka´s policy in relation to Russia has been pretty cowardly so far, Anyz and Fischer conclude.

The sanctions against Russia mainly serve for the West to save its face and they are rather symbolic, but symbolism is a large part of politics and it is sad that exactly Czechs do not understand it, Zbynek Petracek indicates in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He recalls that Czech Finance Minister and Deputy PM Andrej Babis said the sanctions had not been successful so far. Speaking as a businessman he is right, but it is a question whether he should express this view as a state representative, Petracek says.

However, this is a general European question, he adds.

The sanctions and their tightening basically say that some behaviour is unacceptable and in this respect, they are primarily symbolic, Petracek says.

The stance on them has clearly divided the former Soviet zone into the northern wing - Poland and the Baltic countries supporting the sanctions, and the southern wing with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia questioning it.

"This is not exactly the picture that we would imagine on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet yoke," Petracek concludes.

The upcoming October Senate and local elections are surprisingly recycling some candidates who have failed in politics once, Martin Zverina writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN).

These people proved to be bad financial managers, liars or "fiscal magicians" and were forced to leave politics, but now they are applying for power and influence again, Zverina says, citing a few examples of defectors from the right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) and Public Affairs (VV), for instance.

Looking at their past, one cannot expect these candidates to succeed in elections.

Consequently, it seems that they are making this useless journey to reach public support for the purpose of their own profit (like in the past). The police may take notice of it, Zverina concludes.

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