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Gabal, Ivan

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Pražský deník - Czech Republic | 02/04/2009

The end of the era of transformation politicians

The daily Pražský Deník takes a look at the runoff elections to be held this weekend which will decide who becomes the new Slovak president. It predicts that sociologist Iveta Radičová, the main rival of current president Ivan Gašparovič, will win: "Her election would bring the era of post-communist transformation politicians to an end. To this day men who are way past the zenith of their political careers are still ensconced in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava. We can't expect them to influence further development with new ideas. … The Czechs, too, had to choose between a modern, globally-thinking academic - Jan Švejnar - and Václav Klaus, the personification of the transformation politician of the 1990s. In the end the Czech parliamentarians rejected Švejnar, who cast himself as modern and populist, and once again gave conservative Klaus the task of governing the country. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that this was a mistake. The modern-thinking Švejnar would actively address the anti-crisis agenda we need today. Klaus is totally preoccupied with his own private agenda of fighting the EU and denying global warming."

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