Co-chair of Green Party says Czech taxpayers should not pay to protect Holocaust deniers visiting Prague
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.
- Czech Republic: Hundreds demonstrate against meeting of anti-immigration hate parties from all over Europe
- Czech MP to host ultra-right leaders from all over Europe, protests anticipated
- Čeněk Růžička, recipient of the Alice G. Masaryk Award: Sobotka's Government was brave enough to come to terms with the Roma Holocaust
- Čeněk Růžička receives human rights prize from the US Ambassador to the Czech Republic for his contribution to Romani Holocaust recognition
- Special issue of Romano voďi magazine on Romani Holocaust and Czech state buyout of pig farm on genocide site
- Czech Greens call on Prague Vice-Mayor to stop sharing racist video
- Czech Republic: "Stumbling-stones" commemorate Romani Holocaust victims for the first time ever
- Green Party says Czech Interior Minister must guarantee proper investigation of tragic incident in Žatec
- Czech regional elections. Romani candidate for the Greens/Pirates, Karel Karika: No more socially excluded localities
- Czech Green Party chair describes hateful verbal assault on Prague public transport
- Slovakia: Romani women giving birth allege they are subjected to physical violence, racism in hospitals
- Czech State Security Council takes note of extremism report as originally worded, Czech President did not get his way
- New comedy series on Czech public television to feature crude humor, racist remarks and vulgar language
- Hundreds of convicted German neo-Nazis evading custody, some may be in the Czech Republic
- Czech intelligence: "Pure pragmatists" overtaking traditional extremists could be exploited by the Kremlin
- Slovakia: Four Romani girls and their mother die in house fire, police investigate racist comments about the news on their own Facebook page
- Analysis: Quo vadis, Jobbik? Hungary's ultra-right moves to the center
- Czech principal says politicians forgot about her school after death threats were made against it last year
- Czech town sees low turnout for 10th anniversary of anti-Romani pogrom, Romani people light candles for the police officers injured that day
- Czech prosecutor to review police decision not to charge politicians over remarks about Romani genocide site
- Czech ultra-right extremists plan to commemorate 10th anniversary of their attempted pogrom on Romani people
- Commentary: Actual risk now exists that deniers of the Holocaust of the Roma could join the Czech Government