published: 07.09.2012, 00:35 | updated: 07.09.2012 06:29:22
Prague - The Civic Democrat (ODS) rebels who voted against the government tax package may have various motives, but it certainly is not opposition to tax hikes and protection of the ODS trademark as they themselves claim, Martin Komarek writes in the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.
If the rebels really opposed a tax increase, they would have criticised the tax package already before the first vote on it, which is not the case, Komarek says.
The lower house of parliament smoothly passed the tax package, but the upper house controlled by the left-wing opposition vetoed the package and the coalition government of Petr Necas (ODS) failed to override the veto in the lower house on Wednesday because the rebels rejected the package.
The explanation that the rebellion is a revenge on Necas is more probable since both Petr Tluchor and Boris Stastny lost posts and influence due to their own mistakes yet it was Necas who brought about the end of their careers, Komarek says.
But risking the government´s fall, one´s own career and Necas´s retaliation seems too much only because of revenge, he adds.
The theory that the rebellion is a part of a power struggle before an ODS election conference may be to the truth. The vigour with which President Vaclav Klaus backed the rebels indicates that Klaus may try to regain influence in the party he headed for a long time, Komarek writes.
There are rumours that the rebellion is a way to press on Necas to stop the police investigation of the controversial IZIP project of electronic files for patients within which huge amounts of money got allegedly lost in the VZP health insurance company, Komarek notes.
All these motives may play a role in the dispute over the tax package, but it is first of all a symptom of a lengthy illness of the ODS, he concludes.
It seems a good idea to start a fight against prime minister Necas over the government´s tax package including a VAT increase, Lenka Zlamalova says in Lidove noviny.
The planned VAT increase in unpopular, it is economic nonsense and it really goes against the ODS´s promises and ideals, she writes.
However, in debates it is not only important what is being told, but also who says it, why and when, Zlamalova says.
She notes that the rebels do not seem convincing in their arguments against the VAT rise.
Only MP Boris Stastny (ODS) has been opposing tax hikes in the long term and he does not mind an increased VAT but higher income taxes for the rich, Zlamalova says.
ODS MPs Tluchor and Marek Snajdr can hardly be surprised that most people with common sense see a connection between the rejected tax package and a complaint that the Health Ministry lodged a complaint over the overpriced IZIP project when Snajdr got angry at Health Minister Leos Heger (TOP 09) because of the complaint, Zlamalova writes.
The chance for a church-state property settlement has been lost, probably forever, Jiri Leschtina says in Hospodarske noviny.
If the church restitution bill fails, the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) will surely utter a cry of triumph, Leschtina says.
But what instruments did the CSSD use in the fight against the church property return? he asks.
It incited hatred against believers, with some intellectuals and artists contributing to it, Leschtina writes.
He says it is terrifying how easily a wave of hate against churches has been raised.
Who will come next? Leschtina asks.
If the church restitution bill disappears before the autumn Senate and regional elections, most government politicians will feel relieved and many believers will feel it is better not to get the property than provoke such anger, Leschtina notes.
Everybody will be apparently happy in such a case, he says.
But one message will remain: the Czech state does not mind theft, Leschtina concludes.
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