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Právo: KDU-ČSL may waste its advantages over Babiš’s ANO

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Prague, March 29 (CTK) – The Czech junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) are not a monolith unlike the ANO movement of Andrej Babis, and they have a consistent programme, but unless they succeed in making good of this, they will not raise the cabinet’s credit, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo yesterday.
He writes that Christian Democrats like to pester their stronger partners in the government. Their deputy prime minister Josef Lux was in opposition to prime minister Vaclav Klaus (then Civic Democrats, ODS).
The former chairman of the KDU-CSL, Miroslav Kalousek, was the loudest opponent of Social Democrat prime minister Stanislav Gross when he dubiously gained money for his flat, Jelinek writes.
He writes that the current KDU-CSL chairman and deputy prime minister, Pavel Belobradek, for his part, does not waste any opportunity to criticise Babis, finance minister and first deputy prime minister.
Belobradek said Babis has confirmed the suspicion that he was expediently rewriting the assets of the Capi hnizdo conference centre to his family members which smacks of a subsidy fraud and lowers the credit of himself as well as the whole government, Jelinek writes.
The scenario is simple: to express concern and call on the partner to reflect on the situation Jelinek writes.
He writes that a similar scenario was also applied recently when Belobradek similarly and unproductively “attacked” Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky who admitted that five Czechs kidnapped in Lebanon were released in a swap for a Lebanese extremism suspect Ali Fayad, whose extradition was demanded in vain by the United States.
Jelinek writes that it is improbable that the Christian Democrats would leave the government because they would lose the reconquered positions after they spent one term outside parliament, and the bullet-proof Babis would continue as if nothing had happened.
This prompts the Christian Democrats to step up their verbal attacks since their flock like moralising, Jelinek writes.
The Christian Democrats have had a special liking for speaking in two voices and this is true now, too. Belobradek has been increasingly discernible from his deputy and Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka, Jelinek writes.
However, if this is not based on an agreement on the division of the roles of the bad and the good guy, it is a time bomb, Jelinek writes.
He writes that already now, many criticise Jurecka for having a penchant for Babis, a billionaire doing business in farming among others.
If the Christian Democrats were united and kept Babis tightly under the neck, he might really consider whether politics, or business is his interest number one, Jelinek writes.
But the lack of unity and inconsistence only play into the hands of their coalition partner, Babis, who in his turn threatens to tax church restitution.
According to the law on church restitution, or the return of the property the communist regime confiscated from churches which took effect in 2013, churches will get back huge property and a big financial compensation.
Voters are confused when they see the death-and-life struggle turning after a while into teasing which the participants evidently enjoy, Jelinek writes.
May this be one of the causes why the KDU-CSL had to leave the Chamber of Deputies for a time several years ago? Jelinek asks.
($1=24.267 crowns)

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