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Lessons of the Necas scandal

June 18th, 2013

A pro-government commentator believes that the Czech governmental corruption and spying scandal is the result of swift democratic transition. A left-wing pundit speculates that the Orbán government and their hinterland may sooner or later also have to face corruption charges.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier suggests that Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has fallen victim to his own efforts to fight corruption by strengthening the independence of the police and the prosecution. The pro-government columnist remarks that the Necas government scandal is not unique in the post-Communist region. Both corruption and the illegal use of the secret services are recurrent problems in several Central and Southeast European countries, regardless of the ideological leaning of their governments, Stier notes, in a hint at the alleged use of the secret services by the former Socialist government in Hungary for political purposes. (see BudaPost April 25).

Népszava columnist Péter Somfai also applies the lessons of the Prague corruption scandal to home turf, but in a much more direct fashion. Although Mr Necas was hit by the scandal while in office, the left-wing commentator thinks his Hungarian colleagues will face corruption charges if Fidesz loses the next elections. He accuses them of being even more corrupt than their Socialist predecessors. Somfai believes that the land lease agreements (see BudaPost December 28, 2012) and the tobacco-shop tenders (see BudaPost through April) as well as other government commissions or concessions secured for Fidesz-allied entrepreneurs will have to be inspected, as soon as the independence of the police is restored after the defeat of Fidesz, regardless whether this happens at the 2014 election or later.