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Poll: Czechs become more critical of Sobotka’s cabinet

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Prague, March 3 (CTK) – People’s satisfaction with the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) fell considerably over the past year, according to a Czech public opinion poll conducted by the CVVM institute in February, 25 months after the government’s appointment.

The poll showed that a majority of Czechs were not satisfied with most aspects of the performance of the government.

Despite this, Sobotka’s team is still markedly more popular than the two previous governments, the caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok (July 2013-January 2014) and the right-wing cabinet of Petr Necas (July 2010-July 2013).

The poll showed that people were the most critical of the government lineup, 59 percent of them saying they were not satisfied with the government ministers and 31 percent expressing their satisfaction with them.

Most people were dissatisfied with the government’s communication (57 percent) and its performance (55 percent). Fifty-one percent were not satisfied with Prime Minister Sobotka and 41 percent were satisfied with him.

The government programme was the only point with which more people were satisfied (43 percent) than dissatisfied (36 percent).

The poll was conducted among 1080 Czechs aged over 15.

In 2015, people in Prague and other towns several times protested against the government’s stance on the refugee crisis. Sobotka’s government introduced stronger guarding of the border and it opposed the mandatory quotas for the redistribution of asylum seekers, but the protesters called for even more radical steps to be taken. Sobotka repeatedly clashed with President Milos Zeman on migration issues. He criticised Zeman’s participation in a rally against Islam, among others. Zeman has recently been making radical statements that criticise Islam and migrants from the Middle East and his popularity is gradually increasing.

Polls indicate that a majority of Czechs support Zeman now. Zeman’s popularity plummeted in late 2014 when only one out of three people supported him, but his effort to regain the trust of the public has seemed successful.

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