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Czech Deputy PM: Responsible politicians go against the "voice of the people" to do the right thing

15.10.2015 19:01
Pavel Bělobrádek,  Leader of the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party of the Czech Republic and Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation (2015).
Pavel Bělobrádek, Leader of the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party of the Czech Republic and Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation (2015).

Disadvantaged children should attend "normal" schools, people should not live in residential hotels in ghettos but in normal apartments, women should be paid the same as men and more must be done to protect women from violence, and society must learn how to avoid an energy crisis. These are interrelated topics, but we are not used to considering them as such.

The comprehensive resolution of these issues will decide whether we manage to form a creative, open, safe and tolerant society, one that is rich and satisfied in many different respects. That is the message of a new NGO initiative working on the "Czech contribution to the sustainable development goals".  

The global goals for sustainable development were approved in September by the UN summit in New York. At a press conference on Thursday, 8 October, Petr Lebeda from the Glopolis center for analysis called on the Czech Government to begin working on these tasks comprehensively and consistently.  

"We actually have many different Government strategies here already, but the big problem is their consistency with one another. Naturally, their fulfillment is also a problem," Lebeda said.  

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek represented the cabinet at the press conference. When asked by news server Romea.cz, he admitted that the Government is not unequivocally capable of such an approach.  

"There is no doubt that our public and state administration is not in good shape," the Deputy PM said. "That also concerns the executive level, sometimes we get bogged down in the absurdities and paradoxes of bureaucracy, some ministries do not collaborate with each other at all. We certainly will not rapidly achieve some kind of revolutionary outcome. However, it is important that there be the will to push forward here."  

In response to another question from news server Romea.cz, Bělobrádek said that on topics concerning, for example, refugees or Romani people, "a responsible politician must also go against the 'voice of the people'." He believes this is a question of the character of the politician and his party.  

"I must admit that in the beginning I did not want to comment on the refugee crisis, but it seemed to me that even the politicians who are used to waving the human rights banner have been asleep somehow for too long," said the Deputy PM. "Yes, there is a need to stand up to the majority irrespective of the fact that they are the voters. The truth cannot be voted away."

The individual sustainable development aims were then presented by representatives of the nonprofit organizations Czech Forum for Development Cooperation (FORS), the Czech Women's Lobby (Ženská lobby), EDUin, Green Circle (Zelený kruh) and the Platform for Social Housing. More details are here (Czech only).

Michal Komárek, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Education, Housing, refugee, Roma



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