Czech Republic to tax restituted church property

The Czech government has complied with a motion brought by the Communist Party and revoked a law regulating the return of church property that was nationalised during the communist era. The country's churches are now to pay taxes on the financial compensation they receive. Czech commentators are nonplussed.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

State revealing itself as wicked and vindictive

Hospodářské noviny is annoyed:

“So after years of a tug of war the state has recognised that it must give the property that was stolen by the communists back to the churches. And now, at the request of these very same communists, it wants part of the compensation back. That's like a car being stolen, found again and given back to the owner - but the thief has arranged for the wheels to be removed beforehand. ... The Bishop of Pilsen, Tomáš Holub, says: 'Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Everything else is secondary, including the repeated confiscations.' Thanks for this generosity. But at the same time we hope that the advocates of the law will be punished by secular justice for their wickedness and vindictiveness.”

Reflex (CZ) /

A step into the past

In the Czech Republic time is being turned back to the communist era, Reflex complains:

“All that's missing now is the Iron Curtain and the political trials. If you steal something, you have to give it back. That's one of the cornerstones of our culture and our political system. Even those you don't like must be treated fairly. ... The communists play a key role in propping up the government of the former communist Andrej Babiš, and they were the ones who pushed through this unethical law. But in reality this legislation is nothing but a second 'nationalisation' of Church property.”