Monday, 20 November 2017

German press: Czechs voting for Babiš alarming

ČTK |
24 October 2017

Berlin, Oct 23 (CTK) - The Czech Republic has come closer to such countries as Poland or Hungary after the weekend election to the Chamber of Deputies, in which Andrej Babis' ANO scored a landslide, the German paper Die Welt writes on Monday.

"In Central Europe, a bloc of 'nonliberal democracies' is in the making. There is the threat that the eastern European exception will become an eastern European rule," Die Welt writes.

"The rule that a democratic election does not automatically guarantee democracy is invalid not only for Russia and Turkey. It can be used to harm or fully remove the division of power and the rule of law. The impact which this would have on the EU is tremendous," Die Welt writes.

"The success of Babis must be another alarming signal for all those worried about stability of democracies in Europe," Frankfurter Rundschau writes.

Conservatives and Social Democrats in many countries must think of why the communication between them and voters is harmed.

"In the election campaign, Babis did not only depict himself as a critic of the refugee policy of Angela Merkel and an opponent of European integration. Babis also capitalised on the mistrust of established parties." the paper writes.

"It sounds like an absurd joke that this was achieved by a man who himself is suspect of an EU subsidy fraud," Frankfurter Rundschau writes.

"Many Czechs took no interest in the fact that Babis, the designated prime minister, may have been implicated in a fraud with European money," Volksstimme writes.

"They hope for a strong government head who is able to deal with money, who will keep the migrants away and eliminate corruption," it adds.

"Few, if any care that this has nothing to do with the division of power. Authoritarian government models are in the ascendancy across the world," the paper writes, adding that Czechs rejected the existing party establishment in the election.

"Babis' victory in the Czech Republic shows the pattern already obvious in the Brexit and the election of (Donald) Trump. Disgust at the corrupt political establishment was combined with a desire for a strong man," Landeszeitung writes, adding that it was not necessary for populist slogans to reflect reality.

Nordwest-Zeitung is of a similar view. People in Europe are dissatisfied with their political representations, it writes.

"Just this fact makes it possible for newcomers coming with clear and sometimes simple and populist messages to convince the voters," the paper writes.

"The success seems to be guaranteed especially by three topics: a critical attitude to Europe, a tough position on refugees and a fight against ossified political structures," it adds.

Copyright 2015 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor is not responsible for its content.