Zeman cements the political divide

The main impact on the Czech political scene of Miloš Zeman's words yesterday about the explosions in Vrbětice in 2014 was to recalibrate the liberal-illiberal scale, which had been thrown out of whack a week earlier by the expulsion of Russian agents. Almost without exception, those who criticized Zeman yesterday were from the pro-European camp (Pirates/ STAN, Together), while those from ANO, ČSSD, SPD and KSČM were either cautiously neutral or supportive. At least for the time being, the best position of all is occupied by PM Andrej Babiš. He still has Zeman's support, despite being misquoted repeatedly as having said that there is "clear evidence that the Russians were behind the explosions." (He actually said that there is "clear evidence" for "a reasonable suspicion.") The liberal opposition will be able to bang on about Zeman's "treason" in the Vrbětice matter, but it will have trouble undermining Babiš's position on it without also undermining the official version of events.


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