Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Právo: Slovak government turbulences not unknown to Czechs

ČTK |
10 August 2017

Prague, Aug 9 (CTK) - The latest turbulences on the Slovak political scene are not unknown to the Czechs, Lukas Jelinek writes today in daily Pravo about the Slovak National Party's (SNS) decision to withdraw from the coalition agreement which forms the basis of Robert Fico's government.

He writes that government earthquakes usually have two causes, while the key one is the mistrust of the allies.

The SNS of parliament chairman Andrej Danko thinks that Fico's stronger Smer-Social Democracy (Smer-DS) does not show due respect to it, Jelinek writes.

He writes that it is true that in the past, Fico became accustomed to solo ruling and that he is a politician tending to make decisions on many things alone.

However, last year voters decided that the future government will be a coalition one and that is why Smer invited a couple of parties which is strange at first sight: the SNS nationalists and Most-Hid (Bridge), which mainly represents the Hungarian minority [that constitutes about 10 percent of the population].

The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which waw markedly weaker than Smer after the 2013 early general election, also had to form a government coalition, Jelinek writes.

He writes that the party is on relatively good terms with the junior Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), while the programme of Andrej Babis's ANO is rather unclear and moreover, the movement has big ambitions, Jelinek writes.

The mistrust was mounting every month and the sharp rift ended in Babis's dismissal as finance minister and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka's (CSSD) departure from the post of party head and leader for the October 20-21 general election, Jelinek writes.

The above mentioned ambitions are another cause of the fall of governments. In the Czech Republic, Babis is dreaming about premiership, while Danko in Slovakia wants to at least usurp a greater portion of the coalition cake. That is why he wants a new coalition agreement and the government's new policy statement, Jelinek writes.

Not even "banal" motives such as the effort to cover up unpleasant scandals should be forgotten, Jelinek writes.

He writes that Danko'S SNS has a problem with the distribution of money from EU funds, while Babis is trying to subdue interest in his Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) farm and EU subsidies for it and in his property situation.

In Slovakia, the tension will have to be resolved within the current government coalition. The opposition is split and the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) of Marian Kotleba is represented in parliament, Jelinek writes.

He writes that if an early election were held, support for extremists would increase and the parliamentary spectrum would be even more complex.

Lubos Palata writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that in fact all should rejoice at that Fico's government could at last end after he has spent ten years in power, but even commentators silently keep their fingers crossed for him since the end of his team could harm the country more than benefit it.

The reason is that not a usual opposition, but a mixture of parties which seem to be competing for which of them is stranger and in its way more dangerous for Slovakia, stand against Fico, Palata writes.

The strongest opposition entity, Freedom and Solidarity, brought down utterly nonsensically and irresponsibly the government of Iveta Radicova six years ago, Palata writes.

The party's head Richard Sulik has since covered a long way as far as the very edge of the rightist scene, Palata writes.

He writes that the populist-business project We Are a Family of businessman Boris Kollar and the hysterically anti-corruption Ordinary People grouping are even more unusual parties, Palata writes.

The traditional Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) has been taken over by Alojz Hlina, who is a sort of Czech Jiri Cunek [a notorious KDU-CSL member and Zlin Region governor], Palata writes.

The extra-parliamentary "Hungarian" Party of the Hungarian Community is fighting with Most-Hid for the 10 percent portion of voters, and the neo-fascist LSNS would already gain more than 10 percent now, Palata writes.

He writes that in this constellation, the declining Fico and his government remain the least bad option for Slovakia. The Czech Republic may be dealing with a similar dilemma in a couple of years already, Palata adds.

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