Czechia: Communists tolerate Babiš government
Eight months after the elections, Czech members of parliament have given their approval to a minority government headed by billionaire Andrej Babiš. The cabinet comprising members of the populist Ano party and the Social Democrats will be supported by the Communists, giving them a hand in government for the first time since 1989. What does their comeback in the Czech Republic portend?
This is what the people want
Hospodářské noviny takes an ambivalent view of the new ruling coalition:
“The fact that the Communists are tolerating this government is not just a symbolic full stop at the end of a phase of the Czech Republic's democratic development. It will also hamper the country's preparations for the future. On the other hand, the future government has democratic legitimacy and popular support. Sixty-three percent of the population favours the alliance between Ano and the Social Democrats, and only 42 percent have a problem with the Communists' support. So the Czech Republic is getting the government that the people want.”
Communists are flexible
There's nothing new about the fact that the old Communists once again have a say in politics, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believes:
“Former state apparatchiks have been involved in politics in Central and Eastern Europe since the start of the 1990s: with a sure-fire grasp of which way the ideological wind is blowing, the required flexibility of opinion and a strong sense of their own advantage, they've spread themselves out over the entire political spectrum. Their affairs and intrigues have helped to discredit democratic institutions. Czech Prime Minister Babiš also belongs to this species.”