Thursday, 17 April 2014

Respekt: New gov't set-up with Peake's group will be even worse

ČTK |
24 April 2012

Prague, April 23 (CTK) - The new Czech government set-up with Karolina Peake's entity replacing Public Affairs (VV) will be even worse than the existing, Marek Svehla writes in weekly Respekt out Monday.

Peake, who left the junior government VV last week saying she can no longer be in a party strongly influenced by Vit Barta, convicted of bribery, is trying to put together a group of ten deputies to form a new group in the Chamber of Deputies that would keep PM Petr Necas's (Civic Democrats, ODS) government in power.

The ODS and TOP 09 agreed with VV head Radek John on Sunday on withdrawing the coalition agreement that the three parties signed after the mid-2010 elections.

Necas needs minimally ten people to command a majority of 102 votes in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. He has given Peake until Monday to form the group of VV dissidents.

Svehla writes that the situation does not look well for Necas's government even if Peake supplies the ten deputies It would depend on people who until recently were politically covering up without any scruples a project that all, including Necas, now completely condemn.

Besides, the recruiting of people for Peake's new group has all signs of bargaining and it is entirely non-transparent, Svehla writes.

May Barta, if is is so cunning anf cynical as all say, plant his people to Peake's group to continue implementing the plans with which the VV was created? Svehla asks.

Even if Peake found ten people for the government, they will be politically completely untrustworthy, which is also true of Peake who was the VV'sd deputy chairwoman, participated in all steps the VV took and did not protest against Barta's influence in the party, Svehla writes.

He says it cannot be ruled that Necas will have to do make many more deals with Peake than he was doing with Barta.

If Peake succeeds, political culture in parliament will return to the era of party defectors, when completely non-transparent deals were behind the deputies' decision-making and the corruption environment was flourishing, Svehla writes.

He writes that the current government's showing is zero or even negative. The government has practically no foreign, environmental and educational policy. In energy the ODS ministers are going from one extreme to another.

The government has no well-thought-out economic reforms with the exception of the judiciary and health care, Svehla writes.

When the country was entering the EU in 2004, it wanted to have influence on European policy, but now, Necas is voluntarily retreating from this now with his refusal to sign the budget discipline pact, Svehla writes.

Neither Necas nor Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said anything about the disputes accompanying the EU associate agreement with Ukraine that largely concern the Czech Republic with regard for the closeness of Russia and energy policy.

Necas himself has strongly helped push aside important themes through the lack of ethos with which he has imbued his government of accountants, Svehla writes.

Necas's government made the struggle with corruption one of its top priorities, but now he has allowed that Pavel Drobil, former environment minister and still ODS deputy chairman Pavel Drobil, one of the "main builders of corruption channels to the ODS treasury," be the party's chief election strategist.

The government's ethos is also strongly harmed by Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra's (ODS) inability to comprehended his responsibility for the Promopro case, in which hundreds of millions of crowns got lost during the Czech EU presidency in 2009, when he was in charge of the presidency's organisation, Svehla writes.

He writes that all these matters are to show that the government arouses big doubts with its activities alone. If the non-transparent, potentially corrupt way of securing support for it is added to this, it is time to tell the government thank you and to hold early elections, Svehla writes.

Petr Sabata writes in daily Hospodarske noviny Monday that Necas's government will destroy itself. A majority of citizens are for early elections, but the government is pretending as if this did not concern it.

The idea that the government will continue ruling without any problem if Karolina Peake puts together ten deputies is terrible, Sabata writes.

He says the government desperately needs to renew its mandate, image and dazzle. It should rewrite its programme for the latter half of ifs four-year term that ends in mid-2014 and again ask the Chamber of Deputies for confidence vote.

The government should also use the moment for a new discussion with citizens, to explain to them the cuts, higher taxes and other reforms it is taking with the aim of keeping the state budget deficit under 3 percent of GDP in 20013 and 2014, Sabata writes.

The government should take credible steps to quickly improve the operation of the state to prevent money from ending up no one knows where, Sabata writes.

He says this is the only way of gaining, if still possible, the "safe" majority in parliament of which Necas talks.

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