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Czech extremists use social problems to gain popularity - BIS

Prague, 21.11.2008 21:00, (ROMEA)

Supporters of far-right extremists in the Czech Republic seek to gain popularity using social problems, according to a statement the BIS Czech counter-intelligence service published on its website today.

According to BIS, radical nationalists have started to unite using the topic of "socially unadaptable citizens."

Apart from the question of coexistence of the majority society with the Romany ethnic minorities, far-right extremists could also offer "pseudo-solutions" to the problems of immigrants and the homeless, BIS said.

"Ultra-nationalists begin to abandon such topics as homosexuals, Jews, the third Reich or Hitler and try to gain popularity using very sensitive social problems. They want to make themselves visible and score political capital," the BIS report says.

Far-right radicals try to offer pseudo-solutions, for instance, in the form of the "protection" of decent citizens, BIS said.

As an example, the BIS points to the recent events in Litvinov, north Bohemia, where hundreds of policemen clashed with far-right radicals during their march to the local Janov housing estate mostly populated by Romanies.

On their march the radicals were accompanied by local residents who do not hide their aversion towards Romanies.

"I would say that was the most notable phenomenon which shocked me," political scientist Zdenek Zboril said, adding that it was an expression of social intolerance.

According to experts, the guilt lies with regional and state politicians who failed to deal with the problematic situation in similar regions.

According to BIS, it is highly probable that similar incidents can repeat.

"For some extremists, attending gatherings that are usually accompanied by verbal and physical attacks is the main motivation, while the allembracing meaning of the word 'order' is the most important for others who call for a strong leader, a strong state, and for one race and, heaven help those, who would intervene with them, who would not obey them or argue with them," BIS said.

It is evident that far-right extremists will be more and more loud and visible in the future and that they will present themselves as the only saviours capable of ridding society of this or that problem, BIS said.

Cyril Koky, member of the Government Council for Romany Affairs, said after disturbances in Litvinov that the Czech Republic faced the biggest civic unrest.

He said the politicians were underestimating the situation because they failed to sufficiently condemn the extremists' action.

Koky said the Czech Republic was threatened with the "greatest civil unrest that the country could face."

According to council members, far-right extremists want to provoke Romanies into violence.

However, according to BIS, far-right radicals are unable to threaten the democratic system in the Czech Republic because they have neither strength nor means.

"According to rough estimates, some 3000 to 5000 people declare their adherence to the radical far right extremism. Extremists are able to gather the maximal 1000 people at one place," BIS said.

However, they cannot be underestimated either, BIS said.

About 1000 riot policemen clashed with some 500 supporters of the far right Workers' Party (DS) near Janov, on Monday.

That was probably the toughest encounter since 2000 when riots accompanied the world financial institutions' session in Prague.

Of the 16 people who were injured in the incident, in which a helicopter, mounted police and water cannons were deployed, two still stay in hospital.

Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) submitted the proposal to outlaw the DS in early November.

"I will definitely support minister Langer and his proposal," Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (ODS) has said.

"Excesses like those in Litvinov must be punished with very hard measures," Topolanek said.

CTK
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Czech republic, Neo-Nazism, Janov



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