Jana Havligerová's notebook: Zeman’s brush with the truth
President Miloš Zeman’s spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček has once again ruffled through evidence to defend his master. And this time, he even found something! Specifically evidence affirming the attendance of US ambassador Andrew Schapiro at the 28 October celebrations held at Prague Castle (Zeman had claimed Schapiro failed to attend).
The evidence was incontrovertible, and included a photograph taken during a ceremony in the Castle’s Vladislav Hall, as well as testimony by German ambassador Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, who sat next to Schapiro. But an apology by Ovčáček on behalf of the president was never going to be so straightforward. And so the wording, very carefully, states: “If the information about Ambassador Andrew Schapiro’s non-attendance at the Castle on 28 October was incorrect, then the president apologises.”
Former Social Democrat PM Jiří Paroubek, who left the party leadership – and soon after the party itself – after a big electoral defeat in 2010, is back on the political stage, posing as an unofficial adviser to his former party. Almost daily now Paroubek comments on events in the party, and specifically steps taken by PM Bohuslav Sobotka. And, given recent election results, no doubt some Social Democrats will listen. Is some kind of political comeback in store?
The Civic Democrats want to lower VAT rates on beer as compensation for pubs and restaurants caught by the impact of the government’s introduction of mandatory electronic receipts [EET]. Haven’t we heard that idea somewhere before? Yes, for it was touted by none other than ANO leader Andrej Babiš a few months back. Surely the Civic Democrats know that plagiarising other people’s ideas is wrong. What some parties will do to increase their popularity ahead of parliamentary elections. Tut-tut.