Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Zeman's words cause decline of political culture, politicians say

ČTK |
26 June 2017

Prague, June 23 (CTK) - Czech politicians have said the words President Milos Zeman used in an interview with the Barrandov TV commercial television on Thursday are like a spoon of mud from the bottom of a dunghill and that they degrade the presidential office.

Zeman likened Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), with whom he had a serious dispute over a considered resignation of his government and the dismissal of finance minister Andrej Babis (ANO) in May, to a grey human being with the charisma of a gherkins bottle, and he also said he behaves like a swine.

In connection with Babis, Zeman said in the interview that he would consider it decent if Sobotka were not seeking to dismiss Babis four months before a general election [to be held in October].

If someone does so, they "behave like a swine," Zeman said.

Assessing the government members, Zeman said Sobotka has a charisma of a gherkins bottle.

Reacting to this, Sobotka said Zeman is probably suffering from a certain disintegration of personality, and added that he is afraid this will be growing worse.

Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek reacted to Sobotka's statement in a similar spirit.

"In the case of Bohuslav Sobotka, we have been able to follow disintegration for a long time. Like a diligent ant, he has disintegrated his own government and the CSSD," Ovcacek wrote on social networks.

Sobotka has failed as the CSSD chairman, but now at last he has found loud supporters in the [opposition] Civic Democrats (ODS) and TOP 09 and in the [junior government] Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Ovcacek wrote.

In reaction to the declining voter preferences, Sobotka announced recently he is quitting as party chairman and election leader and he only kept the post of prime minister.

Miroslava Nemcova (rightist opposition Civic Democrats, ODS), former Chamber of Deputies chairwoman, said "the latest statements escalate the degrading of the presidential position. This causes citizens' deepening frustration."

She wrote in a press release that Zeman does not respect ethical demands placed on his post and that he is pushing society to a state that suits him only.

Zeman is spreading hatred and intolerance and he has caused a political culture in the country declining to the very bottom.

Nemcova wrote that Zeman is like the darkest figures of modern Czech history who held the presidential post during the communist era.

MEP Jiri Pospisil (for the opposition TOP 09) wrote that he is not Sobotka's supporter, but that Zeman's statements represent the very bottom of political culture.

Politicians from other parties expressed similar opinions on social networks.

ms/dr/pv

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