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Standing on political development in the Czech Republic

Several fraternal organizations have asked us for our opinion about the current government engagement of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) with the forming government. We noticed some misconceptions concerning the character of the formed government and the role of the CP in it. Therefore we decided to clarify our view of the situation.

During the last parliamentary elections (October 2017), the traditional parties lost many votes. Unfortunately, the loss also affected the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) which fell from 15% to 8%. Partly it was a consequence of the long-term social-democratic transformation of the party, its focus on the parliamentary activities and lack of its interest and ability in organizing the class struggles and work among the working people. A large part of the party members, as well as the KSM, was well aware of the mistakes and actively fought for change.

The greatest vote percentage received a party called ANO, founded by a great capitalist of domestic origin Andrej Babiš - who owns a great part of the agricultural land, food and chemical industrial plants etc. His party was a part of the previous government led by the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD, Prime Minister Sobotka). This government, among other things, opened the way for the easier transfer of NATO forces across the borders of the Czech Republic without the necessity of authorization of the Parliament, started the preparation of the introduction of the Euro-currency and continued in the privatization of natural resources to foreign capital.

In the January 2018, Miloš Zeman was re-elected as a president of the Czech Republic. Miloš Zeman is a former social democratic prime minister, who introduced the Czech Republic to the imperialist structure of the NATO and allowed the overflight of US bombers against Yugoslavia in 1999, which meant the complicity of the Czech Republic in the imperialist war crimes.

We observed the emergence of certain inter-bourgeois contradictions in our country. Especially between the forces bounded to foreign, especially German, capital and those who are more oriented toward the domestic capital (whose representative could be recognized in Zeman or Babiš). These forces are more open to negotiations with the Russian Federation but still stay firmly in the context of the Western imperialism. The Miloš Zeman's election campaign was partially funded by business circles which deliver military equipment even to the ruling Ukraine junta and Syrian reactionary groups.

The ANO party has had a problem because it could not find enough "ordinary" partners in the parliament in order to create a government. It created an interim government with the support of president Zeman and tried to negotiate parliamentary majority. In this period it already made several steps on international level - it increased the foreign military missions of the Army of the Czech Republic; it recalled the diplomats of the Russian Federation in accord with the EU-NATO imperialist powers as part of the so-called "Skripal case"; it supported the imperialist attack on Syria; the Czech ambassador was present on the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem in Israel during the Gaza shootings.

After the elections, criticism of the leadership of the KSČM concerning the mentioned massive decrease in votes started. The chairman of the CC of the KSČM Vojtěch Filip declared during and after the post-election meeting of the Central Committee that there would be an extraordinary party congress in 6 months (an unusual long time, given the main reason of the congress was to directly deal with the flop in elections. The reason behind this is an attempt to wait for party members to "cool their mood") and declared that he will not candidate for the position of chairman again. However, during the following weeks he changed his mind and ran for chairman. As a consequence, the April 2018 Congress of the party which was marked by an attending of president Miloš Zeman reelected with a small majority Vojtěch Filip as chairman.

This opened the way for the KSČM faction in the parliament towards negotiations with Babiš. They declared "seven points": general referendum, increase of the minimum wage, increase of the retirement benefits, defense of natural resources from their privatization to foreign capital, increase of the public sector in the water-resource management, taxation of the church restitutions (previous governments started to give money and previously nationalized property to mostly the catholic church), support of construction of affordable housing, and enforcing of the free healthcare. The Central Committee moreover gave the explicit condition not to increase the presence of the Czech Army in foreign military missions - the condition which was already violated and probably will be again as we will show.

The negotiations resulted in an agreement to create a minority government of the ANO party together with the Social-Democratic party (formerly a major party, but it lost even more votes than the KSČM) with the support of KSČM during voting of confidence. The new Central Committee at the end supported the agreement and the July meeting of the Parliament, members of the parliament voted for the new government.

The official statement of the new government contains among others the following things (https://zpravy.idnes.cz/dokument-prohlaseni-vlada-ano-cssd-dtl-/domaci.aspx?c=A180511_070724_domaci_bur ):

  • "Membership in NATO is key to the defense of our country and does not have any alternative... We are committed to continuing to participate in peace missions and other NATO activities ... We will strengthen our participation in the peace and training mission in Afghanistan (Resolute Support), we will increase our presence in Iraq. We will contribute to the Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic countries, to NATO Response Forces, NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, Air policing, and we will contribute to the build-up of robust Follow-on Forces... We endorse the intention the necessary enforced defense cooperation of the EU countries and we will join the Permanent Structured Cooperation in defense (PESCO)... Our foreign policy will be based primarily on EU and NATO membership"
  • "We will support the gradual integration of the Western Balkans region into the EU... For the Czech Republic, the Eastern Partnership is significant, especially the cooperation with Ukraine" - Therefore the government does not have any critical stance towards the coup and pro-Nazi regime in Kiev leading war against its own population. The government will basically support it in its policy, probably in order to gain easier access to the already heavily exploited Ukrainian immigrants, serving as cheap and often illegal labor.
  • "We will build on our traditional friendship and strategic partnership with Israel but we will continue to pursue a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue, in line with UN resolutions and international law." - It basically means the support for the occupational and murdering Zionist-imperialist regime. The reference to the peaceful solution is a hypocrisy considering the seizing of Palestinian land and the adopted racist policy.

Regarding the last issue, there is also a public intention of the Czech president to relocate the embassy of the Czech Republic to Jerusalem - which is an open intervention against the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

Regarding social issues, the statement contains general affirmation to enhance minimum wage, state-employees salaries, and public retirement pay. In the same time, the government assures not to increase the public debt and the tax burden. The government wants to separate the retirement pension account from other accounts. However, the pension budget is often in a deficit which can be used in the future as a pretext to privatize the retirement system.

There is also promised an ambitious program of investment. The government takes seriously the increase of the military budget to the NATO required amount (2% of the GDP, of which 20% to investment to military-industrial complex). The armament which is focused on foreign expeditions will increase tension in Europe.

So we have the standard un-real promises inside the capitalist state, "squaring the circle". We have to take into account that we are speaking about a state which is relatively favourable to the state budget, however, during its rule, the probable trajectory of capitalist crisis will show the true class-essence of the government.

The treaty between the KSČM and Babiš´ ANO and Social Democratic Party does not allow the KSČM to invoke no-confidence vote. Simultaneously, there is no guarantee of acceptance of the propositions raised by the KSČM, or of support from the parties, only they should be discussed in the parliament half year before the end of the election period.

Unfortunately, the KSČM has not used the last 28 years to build forces in society to enforce its program from outside of the parliament - since it does not have support in the trade-union movement and other civic-society and working-class movement. The party will take responsibility for the capitalist government in its weakest point, in time of its defeat in the parliamentary elections, in time of decrease of its membership, when there is neither theoretical work nor class-based vision. Therefore, this step is taken in the worst moment for the organization of the working-class.

This collaboration with the capitalist government lays responsibility on the KSČM for the capitalist-imperialist policies which will be performed by the government. It is a development which had proved negative and devastating in other CPs in history. The justification which was given - that KSČM should not allow the formation of the worse right-wing government than this one - is the same argument which was used e.g. by the Party of Italian Communists during its support of the government which took part of the NATO war crimes in Yugoslavia in 1999.

The ordinary members of the KSČM are more critical towards this engagement but they do not have any platform to express. The KSM had already before the parliamentary election pointed at negative phenomena in the practical policy of the representatives of the KSČM and warned during the negotiations about the KSČM´s support to the government against the development which would end with the irreversible mutation and total destruction of the Party and negative consequences of this policy on the working-class of our country.

In contrast, during the confidence vote in the parliament, we as the KSM chose to participate on in the World Peace Council initiated campaign against NATO-summit in Brussels "Yes to Peace - No to NATO" together with several peace and antiimperialist organizations.

The Central Council of the Communist Youth Union (KSM), Czech Republic, 30. 07. 2018



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