Richter: Babiš was a mess, the ministers were fighting over tastes. The coalition is now working

“We want to see what the Pirates have done, not compete for likes,” Richter said in an interview with News List.

Relations within the coalition are said to be good – but the hackers are still not publicly at odds with other governing parties. Whether it’s the Turow mine or the solution to the energy crisis. The Pirates have their own solution for this, but it is not quite in line with the government’s plans and, on the contrary, it is being touted by the YES movement.

“It just came to our knowledge at that time. It’s important for me to get out of it,” says Richter.

Do you have the fears of certain pirates since the moment you voted to go or not to go to government?

Personally, I was not afraid of that. At the beginning, we put all our energy into writing the government’s program statement, so there is a lot of our program in the government’s priorities.

There haven’t been many polls since the election focusing on voter preferences, but the Kantar agency recently released its results for Czech television. The Pirates went there alone 7.5%. What do you think?

This is largely the result of a disinformation campaign against us before the election. Andrej Babiš made things up that weren’t true, but it had a real impact. And it’s stupid for a democracy that someone refuses to serve you for your political commitment or to hit you, for example because of a pirate T-shirt. These are things we have never experienced before.

Do you perform your own preference measurements?

We haven’t responded to what you said about the 7.5%.

It is important that we work both to resolve the crisis in Ukraine and to manage the influx of hundreds of thousands of people to us, which is a huge task.

Doesn’t this number make you nervous? I assume, for example, that your ambition is to defend the double-digit result of the last elections in Prague.

What are the short term results is one thing. Of course, I want this number to be higher. But in the long run, I’m very keen on giving us the general confidence that politics matters and that people can get involved. In Prague, for example, I find it great that we are a coalition that has lasted all the time. And where we work, we work with a clean slate.

Are hackers and their policies visible enough?

After all, it is important to promote the solution and the program here. I know the previous government put a lot of emphasis on how many likes a minister has on his Instagram account and how he looks in a photo. That’s not what it’s about. We want people to see what the Pirates have imposed, not to fight over likes.

But voters need to know. That doesn’t mean you’ll be taking pictures with peacocks, but I’m asking if you’re happy with how the Pirates’ work is presented on the outside.

I am really proud of Jan Lipavsky as Minister of Foreign Affairs, who unexpectedly rose to the post of one of the most visible ministers for everyone, simply because few people expected the invasion of Ukraine by Putin. He went to kyiv, he was not afraid to show a clear position, to defend very strict sanctions in the European Union, but at the same time he knows very well that nothing can be exaggerated. And Ivan Bartoš negotiates the national recovery plan in exactly the same way.

So you think you can sell your work to make it clear it’s the work of Pirates?

What bothered me the most about Andrej Babiš’s government was the chaos. How you couldn’t be sure what would apply not the next day, but the second half hour of the hour, he said something. This change in style – which we try to work in a way that is predictable, clear, systematic and not promises something that cannot be delivered – will also bear fruit.

Do other parties see you as a typical partner, even though you only have four MPs in the House?

Yes. I have the impression that the posts are partners. It’s OK.

Last week you presented your own proposals to the House to combat high prices. How do government coalition partners see your plan?

Of course, these things are discussed within an internal coalition and there is not always complete consensus. Here, we want to find incredibly fast price solutions, whether it’s energy or other raw materials, for people. We want to give a clear signal that we’re not going to leave people in there. And our solution is inspired by many global economists.

For example, your energy bonus proposal is a form of territorial support that the government as a whole has resisted from the start. Where can the parental allowance be valued?

It is a principle that all people in our country – including the middle class – know that we are aware that prices are rising terribly. And I think we defended this principle and it was accepted. We’ll see how it goes in government, I can’t anticipate that. (The government did not agree to increase parental leave this week, it will resume negotiations next week – editor’s note)

Former YES minister Alena Schillerová congratulated you on your proposals, according to which one of the government parties finally began to think in the same way as YES. How did the Pirates perceive it?

I haven’t recorded it much. It’s important for me to get out of it. That’s why I took the time to explain the factual background. That families with children have the lowest per capita income per household member. If we take the statistics, the average pensioner household per member is more than a family with children. And the worst are singles and single family families. And I base myself on that fact.

We know from parliamentary practice that the YES movement can compete for its ideas or even for program points. If I want to break the unity of the government, I will take the energy bounty for myself, present it and torture the Pirates, that they vote against the coalition partners.

During the last election period, Andrej Babiš had a minority government, very quickly lost unity with his coalition partners and in fact governed with the SPD and the Communists. We are a functional coalition.

In the first hundred days of government, the Pirate Forum voted against the government’s actions, in particular the agreement with Poland on the Turow mine.

The fact is that the contract was concluded in a hurry and in a closed manner. We worked quickly to publish it, subjecting it to the legal expertise that was lacking. Even though our ministers consulted each other during the government negotiations, it was really rushed and we did not know what the agreement meant.

But what was the interest of such a vote for your members? The contract is already concluded. Is there a lesson to be learned, maybe next time?

I understand you and at the same time I don’t understand. A political party is a living organism and we are the first pirate party in government. It is good to say that we are learning how these processes work. The fact that we learn from it, we pay attention to it retrospectively, and therefore be more consistent in verifying the actual execution of this contract, so that in itself is part of the public service that we render.

In the forum you wrote: Before writing a new message, ask yourself if it has such value that it must be read by hundreds of people. Is this new?

No, we do not have this novelty. He’s been there for years.

As a casual user of your forum, I had never noticed this before. Now it jumped out at me. Big red banner.

It really has been there for years. It has also motivated me a few times to delete what has already been written. But in response to these issues, we have made it possible to set up closed discussions. Here we have undergone an evolution.

Would you like to stand for municipal elections?

Do you think there is a chance that you will defend the position of the mayor of Prague?

This will be decided by election. I’m really proud that Zdeněk got a lot of things he promised. He started the construction of metro D, launched municipal apartment projects and support for socially very needy groups.

If it didn’t work in Prague, what signal would it be?

What matters to me is what is behind us now, what we have been able to achieve at a time when we have the confidence of the electorate and when we have a mayor. I see a city that had a huge internal debt on the repair of bridges, on transport infrastructure and I see people who undertook repairs under the leadership of Zdeněk Hřib. Even if it was something that was unpopular during the legislative elections. And I think that hurt us in this election as well.

What do you want to accomplish in four years as Vice President?

My role is still in the professional coalition team. I want to talk about a lot of things – discounts on tariffs for people on full disability pension, long-term unresolved situations of people with autism spectrum disorders, the law on social entrepreneurship. I will continue to deal with this stuff.

And wouldn’t you be able to push him more like a minister? I think he saw you in that job before the election.

But they didn’t offer it to me. The ministry was wanted by the Spolu coalition, namely KDU-ČSL, which now has it. At the same time, we saw the need to adapt to the post-election reality, which shocked us, and we quickly had to look for another strategy to defend what is essential to our program.

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