Monday, 21 May 2018

Czechs in political slumber despite heated events - Austrian press

ČTK |
12 January 2018

Vienna, Jan 11 (CTK) - The Czech political scene remains in the state of a remarkable rigidity despite turbulent developments such as the creation of a new cabinet, the parliament debating the confidence vote in Prime Minister Andrej Babis's cabinet and the presidential vote, the Austrian paper Der Standard wrote on Thursday.

The Czech Republic seems to be in winter dormancy, Der Standard writes, explaining it by all the main actors keeping in check one another.

With his minority government, Babis, who is also facing an investigation into his EU subsidy scandal, needs President Milos Zeman's for its survival.

Zeman, on his part, cannot make do without the voters of Babis's ANO if he wants to be re-elected, Der Standard writes.

Besides, parliamentary parties have not started a fight for the post of president as none of them has nominated its candidate against Zeman.

"None of the parties seem to be ready to bear the costs, efforts and risks," Der Standard writes, adding that due to this, Czech voters themselves will have a say once again.

However, the election is connected with a change in Zeman's attitude to a possible another government headed by Babis.

Zeman said in the past he would let him rule even without the confidence to be expressed by the parliament, but he stated on Wednesday that now he would want him to have a majority in the lower house.

Der Standard writes the Czech media evaluates this change of mind as an unexpected turnaround.

Zeman's attitude adopted closely before the presidential race and face to face to the expected no-confidence in Babis in parliament is meant like a signal to voters that he insists on political stability, it adds.

Zeman's new condition was also noticed by the Austrian daily Die Presse.

It writes that until recently, Zeman was standing behind Babis quite blindly as he issued a carte blanche for his government.

Despite this, the two statesmen's alliance goes on because referring to the investigation of Babis' subsidy scandal, Zeman said in the parliament that the principle of presumption of innocence was valid, Die Presse writes.

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