How did Fiala government perform in first 100 days?

Petr Fiala

On Monday Petr Fiala put out a video saying his government’s first 100 days had not been easy, as predicted, but still they had achieved a lot. But how have the Czech prime minister and his ministers really done during the traditional bedding-in period? That’s a question I put to political scientists Petr Just.

“It’s a question whether the first 100 days actually represents any important milestone in the case of this government, which came to power during one of the peaks of the coronavirus crisis and then jumped into the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“Usually the first 100 days are to let a government get oriented, to let them settle down, to get to know the agenda, to get to know the ministries and slowly start working.

“And this cabinet did not have this kind of luxury immune period which we would consider the 100 days to be.”

But given that they haven’t had a honeymoon period, how do you think they have performed?

“I think the government was doing pretty fairly.

Petr Just | Photo: Elena Horálková,  Czech Radio

“There’s been some problems with communication during the coronavirus, regarding some measures that the government was imposing.

“So this was a bit of a negative approach of the government.

“They hadn’t learned much from their predecessors – that in times of crisis it’s essential to communicate clearly.

“But on the other hand, with regard to the approach of the government to Russian aggression toward Ukraine, I think the government substantially changed its approach and communicated quite clearly.

“So taking into account all these problems, we can sum up that the government was doing fairly well especially regarding foreign policy.

“The Czech Republic was in the spotlight not only in European but also worldwide media, thanks to the initiative of the prime minister, Petr Fiala, together with other Central and Eastern European prime ministers, when they travelled to Ukraine.

“It also meant a different picture of the Czech Republic regarding its activities within the European Union.

“That has also been a bit controversial in the past, and there were some doubts about the future as well.

“As we know, the leading party in the today’s coalition, the Civic Democratic Party, was in the past seen as a rather euro-skeptical party.

Czech government meeting | Photo: Office of Czech Government

“So there were some doubts and I think those doubts are now kind of split – and there is a clear message that the Czech Republic is sending towards the EU, and the world as well.”

There are five parties in the coalition government. Before it was installed there was some speculation that the huge number of parties may cause problems. Has it so far?

“Surprisingly there are at least not any publicly visible conflicts.

“If there are any clashes, they definitely do not go public.

“We can say that the government looks surprisingly stable.

“That is maybe because of the negative predictions that they got from many other actors in the political sphere when this government was appointed, 100 days ago.

“It was predicted that with five members in the coalition it would not be stable at all and would dissolve soon.

“So maybe these negative predictions have served as a kind of glue that keeps this coalition together.”