Eggstremism shakes Czechs

Published on 27 May 2009 at 14:52

In the Czech Republic, the European election may well be fought and won on the issue of eggs: not on the price of eggs, but the eggs that have been raining down on Social Democratic Party (CSSD) leader Jiří Paroubek’s meetings with alarming regularity. As the Czech daily [Mladá Fronta DNES]( explains, “The egg issue has sent a wave of paranoia through the country’s two main political parties.” The CSSD has accused the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of having a hand in the attacks, while the ODS is concerned that its reputation may be stained by the affair.

The Mladá Fronta DNES report also highlights a number of imponderable questions: Why is Paroubek being targeted? Why are people shouting about politics in a country where the voter turnout is expected to be low? And why, twenty years after the Czech revolution, are supporters of the Right and Left brawling in the streets? The list of possible masterminds behind the attacks includes: ex-prime minister and social-democrat “guru” Miloš Zeman, controversial President Václav Klaus, or yet another ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek. In the opinion of Mladá Fronta DNES, all of these suspects have managed to keep their suits clean, in spite of their overweening political arrogance. However, the daily also quotes an anonymous student involved in the movement, who claims the pelting of Paroubek was motivated by resentment over a proposed pact with the communists.

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