Prague – The coalition Together (ODS, TOP 09 and KDU-ČSL), Piráti and STAN in the Prague municipality functioned without problems in its first 100 days, according to the representatives of these parties, and managed to solve a number of problems, including energy supplies, exchange of property with the state or various matters in the field of culture and spatial planning. According to them, communication with the opposition also managed to improve compared to the past. The city management, on the other hand, criticizes the opposition, according to which it has no projects of its own and continues only those started in the last election period. Good communication with the coalition is praised only by the opposition representatives of ANO, Praha Sobě (PS) and SPD have the opposite opinion. In a ČTK poll, this was stated by the representatives of the political parties that are in the parliament.
In the municipality, the ruling coalition has a majority of 36 votes in the 65-member council. The mayor is Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS). In opposition are ANO, PS and SPD. “The council is working well, we managed to find agreement on the vast majority of topics, this was evident in a number of approved steps already in the first three months. In the following months, we want to continue at least at the same pace,” said Svoboda. Among the successes, he mentioned, for example, the agreement with the state on the exchange of property for CZK 1.7 billion or the plan to repair the water network.
In his competences, he considers securing the supply of electricity and gas until the end of 2023 or making the functioning of Pražská plynárenská a success. “We are intensively dealing with security, whether it is about strengthening police patrols on Anděl or issuing a tender in cyber security. We have again established a specialized commission in anti-drug policy and are negotiating with town halls, which should lead to the opening of other necessary centers for users of addictive substances,” he added .
According to the chairman of their club, Daniel Mazur, the pirates consider the completion of a large property exchange with the state, in which Prague received barracks in Karlín, a house in Hybernská and other property, in return for land in the Na Bulovce hospital, to be their greatest success. He considers it important to continue investments in public transport, to start a dialogue with Prague 1 about traffic calming in the center, to approve studies for the humanization of the highway between Těšnov and the main railway station, or to start the second stage of the Barrandovské Bridge repair. He also mentioned, for example, increasing transparency and introducing anti-corruption measures at the municipality, the development of Portal Pražana or the continuation of planting trees.
“Although the past three months have been in the spirit of taking over tasks, we have still managed to move forward several projects that have been standing for a long time,” said the mayor’s deputy and MEP Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09). He also mentioned among the successes the exchange of property with the state. “Which testifies to the fact that the choice of the coalition on the government’s plan was the right one,” he said. He considers the finishing preparations for repairs to the Theater in Vinohrady, support for the establishment of the House of Dance in Žižkov, or the work on making the underground of the Old Town Hall accessible, as important. According to him, however, he is most occupied with the court case over Mucha’s Slavic epic. “Unfortunately, the situation is very serious. Prague has already lost two courts, there is a danger that it may lose the epic. The previous city management had a whole year to reach an agreement with the grandson of Alfons Mucha, but unfortunately they wasted this time,” said Pospíšil.
The council works well, according to the chairman of the municipal committee for culture and vice-chairman of the Prague KDU-ČSL Jan Wolf. “So far, there have been no major problems and the projects that have been started are continuing. And Mr. Svoboda surprises me with his enthusiasm, how he approaches problems and cares. He behaves exactly as a mayor should behave,” said Wolf. According to him, cooperation with the opposition works well. “The committees are no longer just coalitions, when the opposition was only members, but they also have committee chairmen. I hope that this political culture will continue in the future,” he said.
Kateřina Arnotová, the chairperson of the representatives of the STAN, also praises the composition of the government coalition. “One hundred days of the coalition government has shown that its connection with the government has a positive effect on the operation of the metropolis, so far we have not come across any areas of friction between colleagues in the council,” she said.
According to Arnotová, the advantage of STAN is that the deputy mayor Petr Hlaváček (for STAN) is still on the council. “Given that we were able to build on his excellent work in the area of spatial planning and development, we have a great chance to fulfill our promises and commitments during this election period. In education, we are now fighting a difficult battle with the lack of school capacity. But I am convinced that they are on solution to this problem for years to come,” she said. According to her, STAN representatives also cooperate with MPs and the government on digitization, environmental issues or legislation.
However, the activities and work of the council are criticized by opposition parties. According to the opposition ANO, communication with the opposition has improved compared to the past, but according to the movement, the council is lagging behind in its activities. “I would divide it into form and content. From the point of view of the form of governance, i.e. communication with the opposition, it is heaven and earth compared to the previous one. The coalition communicates with us, it also offered us the positions of committee chairmen, members of the supervisory board. In this respect, it is a big a change for the better,” said the chairman of ANO representatives and MP Patrik Nacher.
According to Nacher, there is nothing to evaluate in terms of the content of governance. “The coalition did not come up with anything original, its vision, its project. These are mostly topics that continue from the past,” he said. According to him, the coalition should improve, among other things, communication with the state. “It has built its existence primarily on the fact that it copies the government’s floor plan. We have two cases where it can turn it into a benefit, namely education and the cancellation of post offices, so we’ll see,” he said.
Representatives of the opposition Prague Sobě (PS) are much more critical of the council. “Within 100 days, the Prague coalition of five has turned into a coalition of two entities called ‘the stinky and the hot.’ ,” stated the chairman of PS representatives and the mayor of Prague 7, Jan Čižinský. He criticized the council, for example, for not solving the lack of places in schools. According to him, the city management is just continuing the projects prepared by PS representatives in the past four years.
According to the chairman of the SPD representatives, Milan Urban, the city was harmed by the five months after the election, which took coalition negotiations and the establishment of a new council. “Everything possible was promised, but we don’t see a single benefit from this connection. Due to long negotiations, a number of unions of the municipality and city districts were paralyzed. Unfortunately, until now, the city’s fundamental problems are being pushed aside. Banalities are dealt with for hours at the council, and important things don’t even get on the agenda. Urban said.
According to Urbano, communication with the opposition is very limited, as the coalition claims to support the opposition, but did not allow the SPD into some municipal committees and also into the supervisory boards of city companies. “There they will say that there is one seat for the opposition, but not the SPD, only ANO and PS, moreover, they will leave it to the opposition to divide it among themselves. They claim something, but the reality is not entirely optimal. They do not even include proposed materials for us at the council discussion,” Urban said.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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