PM Babis Races Against Clock

Prague, Dec 23 (CTK) – The Czech government ANO movement of PM Andrej Babis is just doing cold-bloodedly what the other, mainstream, parties have enabled it, while its preferences keep rising, Lukas Jelinek writes in daily Pravo today.

While ANO won the October general election with almost 30 percent of the vote, now it would gain 36 percent, according to a recent poll.

It seems that people connect their hopes and great expectations with Babis and they want him to show up no matter if his government wins confidence of the Chamber of Deputies or not. Unlike constitutional lawyers and political scientists, common people do not estimate such legal categories – they are just counting results, Jelinek says.

He reminds that at its pre-Christmas meeting, Babis’s team approved a drastic slimming of the state administration, abolishing 14 sections at ministries and the Government Office and 23 posts and sacking some 50, mainly political nominees.

Babis will do his utmost to fill the key posts with his people even if he stayed at the government helm for a few weeks only and not during the whole term until 2021.

He will definitely manage to take some popular steps before the MPs deal with his fate to secure citizens’ support regardless of the Chamber of Deputies’ opinion and the future of President Milos Zeman, Jelinek points out.

Babis does not underestimate details either. To convoke a government meeting for 6:30 in the morning two days before Christmas is a step of a workaholic who is working hard for people instead of decorating a Christmas tree. And they will pay him back with rising references willingly, Jelinek concludes.

Czech presidential candidates are often speaking about the issues in which people are not much interested instead of focusing on the key topics, such as tackling extensive migration, Jan Keller writes elsewhere in Pravo today.

They should comment on the recent advice of Greek European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos who said Europe was not and would never be able to halt migration. Consequently, it must prepare for it by more efficient methods of integration and inclusion of migrants and changed legislation to extend possibilities of a legal entry of even economic migrants, he said.

He also complained that so far a discussion about migrants had been burdened with improper nationalism, xenophobia and populism.

Keller writes that the presidential candidates should clearly say whether they share this view of the future or not, how they would eliminate populism, nationalism and xenophobia from society and facilitate integration of migrants and above all how they would like to change people’s way of thinking.

Fairy-tale films, which will dominate the Czech TV broadcasting during Christmas, are a source of information about their creators and the period when they were shot both in the past and at present, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

Fairy-tale films often reflect the governing ideology in the scheme of a fairy-tale story, which was apparent in those shot under the communist regime, mainly in the 1950s.

However, ideology influences fairy-tale films not only under totalitarian regimes. The current German and Scandinavian fairy tales often show interesting class as racial stereotypes as well – the rich are evil, the princess should not be a beautiful blonde, but she rejects luxury and is on friendly terms with ordinary people, while a prince might be black, Zverina says.

There have been several attempts at censoring traditional fairy tales that are hardly politically correct. But this effort to change them can be only partially successful since the final interpreters are their readers of viewer of their film adaptations who always take only what they want from the story, Zverina adds.

“This is also why the fighters against stereotypes can never win. Fairy tales are namely based on stereotypes, similar to anecdotes. They are telling a lot of interesting things about us if we are listening carefully. It is foolish to try to refine them in ideological terms,” Zverina writes in conclusion.