Friday, 26 May 2017

Gov't will survive until election despite squabbling

ČTK |
20 March 2017

Prague, March 17 (CTK) - The incumbent Czech government coalition of Social Democrats (CSSD), the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) is likely to survive until the October general election like a marriage in the final stage of the divorce proceedings, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo on Friday.

He writes that Prime Minister and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka will hardly dismiss Finance Minister and ANO head Andrej Babis, or that the anti-Babis active KDU-CSL would leave the government eight months before the election.

Jelinek comments on the Chamber of Deputies' call on Sobotka to draw relevant consequences if Babis fails to trustworthily explain his incomes that he used to buy one-crown bonds of Agrofert holding at a time when he owned it and other business deals.

Babis's dismissal would lead to the fall of the government and the rightist opposition TOP 09 and Civic Democrats (ODS) would rejoice, Jelinek writes.

He writes that their coalition governments failed to rule for the whole-year term and Sobotka's team would now face the same fate.

In addition citizens usually punish those who burry a government and this is the last thing the CSSD [whose voter preferences have been dramatically falling] would like to happen to it, Jelinek writes.

Supported by President Milos Zeman, Babis can even provoke Sobotka and the leaders of other parties, Jelinek writes.

He writes that it is Babis's dream not to have to go to parliament and he does not feel well at government meetings either.

Both are institutions that cannot be directed by SMS messages, while having free hands for a campaign against the traditional parties that "removed him from power to prevent him from putting the country in order" would be welcome, Jelinek writes.

Sobotka, on the contrary, likes pointing at Babis neglecting his duties of a government member. "You see, he is not slaving away [which Babis promised before the 2013 election] - and if, then at himself and his movement only!," Jelinek writes.

What did Babis do earlier this week when he did not come to the Chamber of Deputies, where he should protect voters from the position of a duly elected lawmaker? Jelinek writes.

He was cutting the ribbon at opening an extension of a south Bohemian motorway at the side of Transport Minister Daniel Tok (for ANO) and visiting restaurants to see how his electronic sales registration (EET) project is functioning, Jelinek writes.

Sobotka must think that this is no work, the less so for a finance minister. The first impatient driver could have inaugurate the motorway and local tax office clerks could have visited restaurants, Jelinek writes.

Babis cannot satisfy Sobotka even with the gradual releasing information on his accounts. It has gone so far that no one already comprehends how much this or another deal earned him and whether the sum is before or after tax, Jelinek writes.

In addition, Babis keeps changing his and his accountant's statements, Jelinek writes.

But not even this means that he committed a crime. Looking into the deals is up to the police or the Financial Administration which, however, falls under the Finance Ministry, Jelinek writes.

However, all this will be forgotten by the general election [which Babis and ANO are expected to win] and those who participate in the anti-Babis drive now will be making advances to him after the election, Jelinek writes.

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