Commentary: Actual risk now exists that deniers of the Holocaust of the Roma could join the Czech Government
The "Stork's Nest" affair has returned to the Czech political scene. While it hadn't exactly gone away, it had been on ice for a while now.
The controversy has been newly revived by the reporting of Jiří Kubík and Sabina Slonková, journalists with the Seznam Zprávy news server. This has opened a Pandora's box, as it means the entire affair could be drawing to a close, and the ultimate outcome could be a cabinet where the xenophobic populists from the "Freedom and Democracy Party" of Tomio Okamura are sitting alongside Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, thanks to the support of Czech President Miloš Zeman.
Yesterday evening's bizarre press conference, during which representatives of the opposition parties in the so-called democratic bloc stood side-by-side with Okamura, who represents right-wing extremists (forgive me, I know we're not supposed to use that term) in the basically populist-xenophobic SPD was a demonstration of political naivete and unpreparedness. The only person there who had thought through his next move, apparently, was Okamura.
The SPD chair did not say a word during that press conference. Elsewhere that same evening, though, on the Barrandov cable television channel he calls home, Okamura clearly said: "We want there to be a vote of no confidence, but for an absolutely different reason. We want to replace the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), get into the Government, and advocate for our program."
Immediately this morning Okamura met directly at the Office of the Government with the PM. So did the boss of the Communists, Vojtěch Filip.
"I suspected there would be room to advocate for the SPD program. Babiš told me to prepare a legislative package and that we could meet about it next week," Okamura said at today's press conference.
Have the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Pirates, and the other small democratic parties actually thought through their next steps? What happens if the ČSSD gives the PM an ultimatum to resign and threatens to leave the Government unless he does?
ODS chair Petr Fiala has said he does not want early elections. Does that mean that if the Government falls, a technocratic cabinet in the hands of Zeman will rule, since the President is so frighteningly close to Okamura's SPD?
Is the PM currently negotiating a new coalition in which the ČSSD is replaced by the SPD and the Communists will get to walk back into the Office of the Government through the front door? The situation is not easy - if the Government falls now, we are actually risking the formation of a Government including people who openly deny the Holocaust of the Roma and make no secret of their racist opinions.
- Hundreds commemorate Romani victims of WWII-era camp, criticize Czech politicians for Holocaust denial
- Czech students walk out of school to defend democracy, protest denial of Romani Holocaust
- Czech MPs refuse to approve program of extraordinary session to remove vice-chair accused of denying the Romani Holocaust
- Czech Republic: Mayor of Brno joins march against denial of the Holocaust of the Roma
- Former Czech Human Rights Minister says the entire country should campaign against denial of Romani genocide
- European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls Czech MP's remarks about Romani genocide site classic Holocaust denial
- Czech citizens file crime report over MP's remarks denying the suffering of Romani genocide victims
- Czech MP Stanislav Huml shares Holocaust denial video online
- Parliamentarians of Europe get involved to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to fight against genocide denial
- As politicians mark International Holocaust Remembrance day, Czech extremists deny it
- European Court of Human Rights: Freedom of speech does not include Holocaust denial
- Activists lament Czech Police response to MP's denial of Romani genocide
- Commentary: Freedom of speech vs. Holocaust denial
- Czech Republic: More charges to be filed against MP for Roma Holocaust denial
- Czech MPs who ran on Okamura's candidate list now protesting his Romani Holocaust denial
- Civil society members of Czech Gov't Commission on Roma Community remind MP that Holocaust denial is criminal
- Czech Supreme Court upholds Stwora's sentence for Holocaust denial
- Czech Police charge activist Jan Šinágl with genocide denial
- Man convicted of Holocaust denial in the Czech Republic for web content on US server
- Czech Republic: 10th anniversary of arson attack against Romani family by ultra-right
- Civil society members of the Czech Govt Roma Council seek meeting with Czech Interior Minister and PM over recent interethnic violence
- Czech Constitutional Court finds lower instance was wrong not to consider Romani celebrity subjected to online hate an injured party
- Czech court gives former secretary to ultra-right party suspended sentence for inciting hatred
- Czech Prime Minister expresses condolences over the death of legendary Romani singer
- Czech Police investigating dozens of online comments approving of the neo-Nazi attack in New Zealand
- Attack on mosques in New Zealand inspired by historical and present-day European violence, from the Balkans to Norway
- New Zealand: Ultra-right extremists murder 49 people in two mosques, live-streaming their crime
- US State Department says Czech Republic is grappling with anti-Roma hatred, including from the President
- Czech lower house decides not to strip MP of immunity over his remarks denying the Holocaust of the Roma
- German neo-Nazis are training for street battles on "D-Day", hoping to take power
- Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner steps down