Miloš Zeman circa 1998: CZK 600 million to build a memorial instead of a pig farm is "negligible amount"
Czech President Miloš Zeman claimed during yesterday's "TÝDEN" ("The Week") program on the Barrandov cable television channel that he has always been against closing the pig farm currently located on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people. Zeman insisted during the interview that he has always been of that opinion.
Specifically, he mentioned the period of 1998-2003, when he was Czech Prime Minister, and said he recalled mentioning the high cost of removing the farm as his main reason for opposing the move. He has apparently forgotten what he actually told the media in those days, as well as what his then-colleagues in the party said prior to his becoming PM.
When he was running for election, Zeman said that the amount of CZK 600 million [EUR 23 million] would be a "negligible" price to pay for moving the farm. "I would like to see a Social Democrat alive who would agree with a pig farm covering over a location of Czech Fascist crimes," the weekly RESPECT quoted the future Czech Culture Minister, Pavel Dostál, as saying, while Zeman himself told the weekly that to him, "even the allegedly-sought amount of CZK 600 million would be a negligible amount to pay to build a memorial to the victims of Czech -- I emphasize, Czech -- terror against our fellow citizens who are Romani."
Yesterday, on the Barrandov program, the Czech President recalled saying something absolutely different. He explained why, as PM, he had opposed closing the farm at Lety u Písku.
"I dealt with this matter as Prime Minister and refused to close that pig farm, for the very simple reason that its closure would have cost the Government, and therefore the taxpayers, about CZK 400 million," he said. It is true that, after the 1998 elections, when Zeman became PM, he did reverse himself and forgot his campaign promises.
Then-Czech MP Monika Horáková (today Mihaličková) of the Freedom Union party (Unie Svobody) pointed that fact out in the Czech daily Mladá fronta DNES in April 1999, in an article called "The Genocide of the Roma and Zeman's Campaign Promises" where she discusses the Social Democratic cabinet's failure to approve a resolution to proceed further in connection with commemorating the Nazi genocide of the Roma. The document then rejected by the cabinet would have asked the Chamber of Deputies to release the necessary amount from the budgets for 2000 and 2001 to build a new pig farm and remove the existing one.
The article also refers to the then-PM"s campaign promises as "populist". At the close of the part of yesterday's interview that covered the issue of the pig farm, Zeman said that while he rarely changes his opinions, he "knew" he has not done so on this one ...
- Czech President Zeman is in favor of leaving pig farm on site of former concentration camp for Roma
- Czech Justice Minister says moving pig farm from Roma genocide camp may require expropriation
- US Chargé d’Affaires at Roma Holocaust site: I pay tribute to the Czech Government's pledge to solve the problem of the pig farm
- Opening remarks at commemoration quote Romani genocide survivor: "There's a pig farm at Lety. How could they allow that?"
- Czech state not signing pig farm contract today after all, money will come from next year's budget
- UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe welcomes Czech Govt genocide site buyout, calls for illegally sterilized women to be compensated
- Czech Human Rights Minister says Govt will sign contract to buy pig farm on Roma genocide site next week
- Romani psychology student who is a ROMEA scholarship winner featured on Czech Television
- Czech Republic: Pig farm shareholders to vote again on sale before year-end
- Some Romani activists do not want future genocide memorial at Lety to be run by the Czech state
- Unique Czechoslovak film from 1960 about the concentration camp for Roma at Lety screening on Romea.cz
- Czech company accepts state offer to buy pig farm on Roma genocide site
- Czech union demands severance pay for staff at pig farm closing on Roma genocide site, firm says employees are not members
- Czech firm able to negotiate sale of pig farm on Roma genocide site for first time
- BREAKING NEWS: Czech firm agrees to sell pig farm on Romani genocide site
- Renata Berkyová for DVTV: Even the Czech President doesn't know how to honor the memory of Lety, the pig farm remains
Tags:Aktuality, manipulace, Lety u Písku, Miloš Zeman
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