Sunday, 20 April 2014

German press criticises Zeman's anti-German election campaign

29 January 2013

Berlin, Jan 28 (CTK) - The German and Austrian press yesterday criticises Czech President-Elect Milos Zeman for using anti-German sentiment in his election campaign, but some dailies say Zeman will be no disaster for Germany and he will improve the relations between the Czechs and the rest of Europe.

German daily Die Welt says Chancellor Angela Merkel should not invite Zeman to Berlin over his anti-German campaign and she should not let hatred of Germans become a standard in European politics.

Zeman created the spectre of Sudeten Germans once again to score political points, the paper writes.

Die Welt points to the anti-German rhetorics of former Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and it says there will probably be more such campaigns in Europe in the next years.

Zeman should not get an invitation from the German government not to take revenge on him but to show everybody that one will have to pay a price for heating up anti-German sentiment, the paper writes.

If somebody believes that anti-German slogans must be used in an election struggle, he should also know that Berlin will not pretend that nothing has happened, Die Welt concludes.

Czech leftist dinosaur Zeman has known for a long time that he needs to instigate fear if he wants to win support from ordinary people, Suedwest Presse writes.

In the recent election campaign, Zeman, assisted by outgoing President Vaclav Klaus, implanted fear of Sudeten Germans who allegedly wish nothing else than a revenge for their postwar transfer from Czech border regions and who would take away houses from Czechs living in these regions, the paper writes.

But Suedwest Presse said the Sudeten German issue probably will not be of any practical importance in Zeman's politics.

The populist Zeman only used the issue to win the presidential post, the paper says.

The EU flag will fly over Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, daily Hamburger Abendblatt writes, welcoming the end of the Vaclav Klaus era.

But the paper says it is unclear whether a real political change would follow because the right-wing populist Klaus and the left-wing populist Zeman seem rather similar.

Zeman is no reconciliator and "turbulent times" will come with him, Hamburger Abendblatt concludes.

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung and Badische Zeitung agree that Milos Zeman as the next Czech president is no disaster.

The papers say Zeman does not have delirious view of foreign policy, unlike his predecessor Vaclav Klaus.

The first direct election of Czech president was a successful experiment and some other European countries could follow the example, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung writes.

Austrian daily Der Standard says President-Elect Zeman reflects the state of the Czech Republic.

Austrian daily Kurier writes that Zeman's campaign was based on spreading anti-German sentiment.

Kurier says Zeman did not tell the truth when he declared on Czech television that his rival candidate, Karel Schwarzenberg, was supported by the Austrian Landsmannschaft head.

Zeman previously said Sudeten German Landsmannschaft representative Bernd Posselt, who is unpopular among some Czechs, backed Schwarzenberg's candidacy. When Posselt dismissed this, Zeman said he made a mistake because he mixed up Posselt with the head of the Austrian Landsmannschaft who allegedly supported his rival.

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