Prague - The proposed extension of the Western sanctions against Russia in reaction to its action in Ukraine indicates that a cultural war and maybe a new cold war are on the horizon, Petr Pesek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.
One of the proposed extended sanctions is the possibility to prevent Russia from participating in big international events, including sport ones, such as the football Champions League.
Though this option is not very realistic, the mere fact that it has been tabled proves that "the animosity between Russia and the West is moving into a new or rather old-new dimension," Pesek points out.
Not only selective measures but broader steps against Moscow are being considered, he adds.
After some 25 years when both the West and Russia were trying if not love than at least understand each other, a new chapter of war is emerging - a commercial, cultural and creeping cold war," Pesek concludes.
"The Calm Force" has returned, which is positive this time, Jindrich Sidlo writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, hinting at the junior government Christian Democrats´ (KDU-CSL) "notorious" election slogan from the mid-1990s.
The Christian Democrats were being mocked over it then and they were blamed for having the only goal to "get in" as if other parties wanted to "stand outside," Sidlo says.
However, he adds, the past year rehabilitated the slogan.
After the KDU-CSL returned to the Chamber of Deputies in the last October elections, its young leadership with chairman Pavek Belobradek shows the better that can be connected with the Christian Democrats - the ability to reach consensus and at the same time stick to their opinions and remind of significant matters, most recently in the case of the anti-Russian sanctions, Sidlo points out.
He adds that the KDU-CSL seems to be the only government member to defend them.
After years, the KDU-CSL shows why even small parties are meaningful on the Czech political scene, Sidlo says.
The "most useful friend" of Czech President Milos Zeman is apparently Finance Minister and Deputy PM Andrej Babis, chairman of the government ANO, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo today.
Zeman warned MPs on Tuesday that he would veto the civil service bill, on which the government had agreed with the opposition thanks to a number of concessions, if the posts of political deputy ministers were preserved in it.
However, if the cabinet, commanding a clear majority in the Chamber of Deputies, is united, it can resist the president´s wilfulness easily. This is why Zeman should find a "friend" inside the government´s camp, which has happened, Mitrofanov writes.
Babis said he would try to persuade the rest of the government coalition to make an accommodating gesture towards Zeman. Though the other coalition partners, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), do not seem to be willing to do so, "it is an important signal," Mitrofanov adds.
It shows to whom Zeman can turn if he needs to challenge PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD), he adds.