Babis defeat will weaken Prague-Budapest link – EURACTIV.com
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Hungarian counterpart Victor Orbán severely criticize the European institutions. However, Babiš’s defeat in the last parliamentary elections could damage relations between the capitals.
“Babic’s defeat will weaken the link between Prague and Budapest. This may further undermine the Visegrad cooperation as we know it today, Viktor Orban being the dominant player, ”said Zdeněk Beránek, director of the EUROPEUM think tank. “Sebastian Kurz’s resignation will make the formation of ad hoc votes and the negotiation of central European groupings less likely,” he added.
Yet populists and far-right parties will be heard in Czech politics, regardless of the victory of the so-called “democratic bloc” formed by the center-right and center-left coalitions. Babiš’s ANO party cannot form the government but will retain its strong position in the Czech Parliament.
In addition, the far right parties have behaved well. “Parties which are openly hostile to the EU and NATO won around 15% of the vote – the Czechs are after all one of the most Eurosceptic nations,” said Beránek. However, only one far-right party – Freedom and Direct Democracy (ID) – has reached the 5% threshold to enter the Czech parliament.
(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)