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Co-chair of Green Party says Czech taxpayers should not pay to protect Holocaust deniers visiting Prague

16.12.2017 11:16
Activists with the Young Greens also protested on 6 May 2015 against the appearance of Marine Le Pen, chair of the French Front National, at a conference in the Czech Parliament about
Activists with the Young Greens also protested on 6 May 2015 against the appearance of Marine Le Pen, chair of the French Front National, at a conference in the Czech Parliament about "European Peace and Prosperity After the European Union".

Ondřej Mirovský, co-chair of the Green Party in the Czech Republic, rejects the idea that taxpayers should cover the costs of "providing security for Holocaust deniers". He made his remarks in response to the fact that the Czech Police are providing special protection for the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was convicted of inciting discrimination last year and who is now coming to Prague for a meeting of parties from the "Europe of Nations and Freedom" (ENF) group at the European Parliament (EP) that disseminate hatred and anti-immigrant sentiment.

The conference is happening today and the parties are anticipated to publish their vision for a different model of collaboration among European countries. "I reject the idea that the taxpayers have to cover the costs of the comfort and safety of people who deny the Holocaust, who reject human solidarity, and who glorify ultra-nationalism. The organizer of this event, Tomio Okamura, should bear the cost," Mirovský said in a press release published yesterday.

The chair of the Pirate Party in the Czech Republic, Ivan Bartoš, has also expressed opposition to the convention of the hateful parties. "In a democratic society we enjoy freedom of speech, and I am glad that those who have been delegated to this occasion can show their true colors through their actions and their speech. I am also able to take advantage of that same right to say that it is exactly these politicians who are aiding the fomentation of hatred in society," said Bartoš, who is of the opinion that such parties base their politics on feeding people's fears in order to enjoy electoral success. 

"Their rhetoric will not bring us any solutions. It is political marketing in its ugliest form. It creates a demand. By disseminating fear and hatred, it creates a demand. The answers to that demand, the offer to meet that demand, is the seeking of somebody to blame for the existential problems of those who are the least well off among us. This has happened already in history and we know how it ended. Never more," said Bartoš, adding that in his view politics of this kind ends up sparking concrete, violent acts against foreign nationals, too many of which have happened recently in the Czech Republic.  

European anti-immigration parties plan to publish their alternative to the EU

According to the representatives of the parties in the ENF group, the European Union should be replaced by collaboration among sovereign countries, while freedom of movement for capital, goods, persons and services should remain as it is. The chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement in the Czech Republic, Tomio Okamura, communicated that message to the Czech News Agency yesterday ahead of welcoming several ENG representatives to the SPD club in the lower house.

Yesterday's meeting between the ENG representatives and the SPD was closed, and Okamura did not want to publicize its time because some of the politicians attending have received threats. "We are convinced - and time will show that we are right - that the current model of the European Union is dysfunctional, the European Union is unreformable. We think it is high time to begin discussing a different model of European collaboration and to prepare for that while there is still time. There is a nice Czech saying that applies here - 'the last customer left pays the bill'," Okamura said.

The conference of the ENF parties at which they will reveal their vision for a different model of European cooperation is happening today. "The model of collaboration we are proposing, which is absolutely realistic, is the closest cooperation of sovereign nation states without the dictates of Brussels," Okamura said.

The SPD chair emphasized the necessity of preserving the free movement of capital, goods, persons and services, but in his view the existence of the EU is not needed for that. Okamura reminded the press that the free movement of goods is facilitated by agreements on free trade, while the free movement of persons is guaranteed by the Schengen Agreement, which was not part of EU law when it was created in 1985.

"The strength of Europe consists of competition among small European countries. Diluting them into one big amorphous superstate is not the correct path," Okamura said.

In the view of the SPD chair, the electoral results of the parties involved in the ENF show that such opinions have the significant support of the European public. Demonstrations against the ENF conference in Prague happened yesterday and will take place today.

Those coming to Prague for the ENF conference include failed French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and Wilders, who is known for his opposition to the religion of Islam. The event will be attended by Lorenzo Fontana, a representative of Italy's Northern League, and Georg Mayer, a representative of Austria's FPÖ.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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