In the most atheistic country in the European Union, the Roman Catholic church has entered the electoral fray: its chief cleric, the archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, has publicly condemned the political parties that helped overthrow the ruling coalition this past March, smack in the middle of the Czech presidency of the EU. His anathema is front-page news in MF DNES and Lidové Noviny. In view of such “irresponsible” conduct on the part of statesmen, declaims the cardinal, “they should not be elected to the European Parliament”. His remarks are mainly levelled at the Social Democrats and Communists. Jiri Paroubek, the leader of the former, lost no time in launching a counterattack, accusing Monsignor Vlk of defending “the interests of the Church”, which was prevented by the fall of Mirek Topolanek’s government from recovering the “properties” and “billions of Czech crowns” confiscated by the Communists.