Czech Presidency in the media
How do the world media report on the Czech EU Presidency? Read the articles we have selected for you.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: We are still able to cope with our European tasks
“The European Council in June will prove that the Czech Republic has met its obligations,” stated Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer in an interview with the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The President of the European Council emphasised that as part of the preparations of the European Council the EU is primarily occupied with “institutional reform, guarantees to the Irish and nomination of the new President of the European Commission”. Regarding this last issue, Jan Fischer expressed his support for the current Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, whose accomplishments he values highly. He also touched upon the continued ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and his planned visits abroad. In preparation of the European Council on 18 and 19 June in Brussels the Czech PM will, for instance, set out for Berlin, Stockholm, Paris and London within the next fortnight. “I can’t visit all the capitals, but I will talk to all my European colleagues, at least on the phone,” Jan Fischer added.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Hundreds of eggs for Paroubek
The leading German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes about the somewhat startling European election campaign taking place in the Czech Republic. Speaking about the “egg fights” directed against the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), which started in the town of Kolín and culminated at Anděl in Prague, the article adds that these initiatives were strongly criticised by Czech President Václav Klaus, who condemned them as a result of “degeneration of political culture”. The Social Democratic Party compared the egg attacks to Nazi terror against the political left in the Weimar Republic, and its leader, Jiří Paroubek, spoke about “fascist methods”. The article goes on to mention that the party succeeded in persuading Prime Minister Jan Fischer and Interior Minister Martin Pecina to authorise special security measures. Finally, the article writes about the supporters of the Facebook group “Eggs for Paroubek in every town and city”, which has over 40,000 members. It suggests that young Czechs have not forgiven Jiří Paroubek for “the brutal police intervention” at a techno music party ordered by Paroubek’s government in 2005.
Süddetusche Zeitung: Election campaign under egg shower
“The leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party epitomises what young people don’t need – mediocrity,” says the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung quoting an article in the Czech daily Lidové noviny, and goes on to search for motives underlying the egg attacks against leaders of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) in the campaign ahead of the European Parliament election. The article says that young Czechs have teamed up against Paroubek via the Internet. It suggests that their anger has been stirred by the fact that ČSSD toppled the government in mid-Presidency and that the party is not resentful to cooperating with Communists, with whom it has formed coalitions at regional level. The article states that demonstration banners feature accusations of populism and slogans reproaching police brutality at a techno music party in 2005.
The Polish Daily Gazeta Wyborcza commented on the “peculiar campaign” of Czech political parties ahead of the European Parliament election. The article suggests that the fact that eggs were thrown at the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) leader, Jiří Paroubek, could mean that young people are venting their anger on ČSSD for having plotted the fall of the government during the Czech Presidency, thus tarnishing the image of the Czech Republic in Europe. According to the article, this form of protest could ultimately lead to a rise in the turnout of voters in the EP election, scheduled for 5 and 6 June 2009.