- Hans Weber
- December 6, 2023
The high political cost of F-35s
ANO is to decide this week whether to oppose the purchase of F-35s. When Andrej Babiš declared last week that he’s against the fighters, Czech TV and Czech Radio said nothing about it in their main news. That’s exactly why Culture Min. Martin Baxa of ODS considers the public media to be the “key guardian of democracy.” They scratch the government’s back when it’s important, and now the government will scratch theirs. That’s democracy, right? As its part of the deal, Baxa’s ministry plans a major reform of the financial model for Czech TV, at least according to both outgoing CEO Petr Dvořák of ČT and incoming CEO Jan Souček. This means the government will give more money to the public media just as it is taking money from other media by raising VAT. Babiš declared last week that ANO is against giving the public media a single crown. No money for F-35s, and no money for ČT. PM Petr Fiala might win on both counts, but Babiš is going to make sure the political cost is high.