“Everything to be more expensive: government plans tax hike”, headlines Czech daily Lidové Novinyon its front page, with parliamentary elections just two months away. Faced with the economic crisis, finance minister Eduard Janota has announced the government has to up taxes and down spending, seeing as the deficit is swelling and due to hit 230 billion crowns (€8.9bn) next year. His announcement is nothing short of heroic, opines the paper: “No candidate would dare tell Czechs a few months before elections that they’re going broke.”

Paradoxically, remarks fellow daily Mladá Fronta Dnes, the two frontrunning parties are now poised to launch “the costliest campaign in Czech history” – while refusing to reveal the sources of their funding. Janota has done the right thing, expresses MFDnes, in denouncing a populist fiscal policy and excessive debt that could well lead the country down the road to bankruptcy – a ruinous road which Hungary has already taken and which Latvia is tearing down full speed ahead.