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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Czech press fears communist comeback
Czech press graphic

As talks on forming a new government get under way in the Czech Republic, leading dailies fret about the possible return of the communists to power.

Interior Minister Stanislav Gross has been asked to form the new government after Vladimir Spidla resigned as prime minister and social democrat leader following his party's poor showing in the recent European Parliament election.

But Mr Gross must find at least one extra vote to secure a majority in parliament and present a viable government coalition before he can be appointed prime minister, an issue which worries the left-wing Pravo.

For the Czech Republic, communist comeback would mean a large, pointless and nonsensical detour on the road to prosperity and towards the level of the EU states
Pravo

Reporting that he is "seeking help" from the communists to form a government, Pravo reveals a sharp break from the days it was linked to the communist party by expressing its distaste for the idea, fearing the move could affect the country's position within the EU.

"For the Czech Republic, it would mean a large, pointless and nonsensical detour on the road to prosperity and towards the level of the EU states."

Another daily with past links to the communists, Mlada fronta Dnes, is also fearful of what is described as the party's "political rehabilitation".

A bit longer, a few more blunders by the democratic parties and they (communists) will be sitting in the government
Mlada fronta Dnes

Concerned that "democratic parties are themselves opening the gate for it", it points out the communists are just "one small step" away from "membership in respectable society".

"A bit longer, a few more blunders by the democratic parties and they will be sitting in the government."

'Impossible mission'

The independent Lidove noviny concedes that a coalition made up of the Communist Party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party could have some benefits.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good
Lidove noviny

Enabling the communists to reclaim the left-wing "would help free the rigidity" of the political system that emerged after the 1989 velvet revolution which ousted the pro-Soviet regime, the paper believes. It argues that this system became open to political blackmail and corruption.

However, although providing a more pluralistic alternative, the paper concludes, the situation would still be far from satisfactory. "In short, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good."

The economic daily Hospodarske noviny takes a more sober approach, arguing that it is practically impossible to form the new government without communist participation.

The paper recalls that President Vaclav Klaus had insisted Mr Gross should not include the communists in his government. But "given the situation, this is an impossible task".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Czech Republic
04 Feb 04  |  Country profiles


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