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Czech PM and Deputy PM warn against the "fascisization of society“

28.8.2015 0:20
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (PHOTO: ČSSD)
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (PHOTO: ČSSD)

Czech Finance Minister and Deputy PM Andrej Babiše (ANO) remarked on Tuesday that the external borders of the Schengen area must be immediately closed, prompting a reaction from his fellow cabinet members. Pavel Bělobrádek, Deputy PM for Science, Research and Innovation, who chairs the Christian Democratic Party, called the Finance Minister's remarks irrational and populist.  

Bělobrádek expressed his fundamental disagreement with Babiš at a press conference after Wednesday's cabinet session. According to him and to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats), fascist tendencies are developing in Czech society in the context of the immigration crisis.  

Babiš justified his opinion about closing the Schengen area by saying there is a need to defend the territory of most European states from the influx of refugees. He also believes that NATO should be involved in that effort.

"I fundamentally disagree with the statements of Mr Deputy Prime Minister Babiš," Bělobrádek said. "I think that opinion is incompetent, irrational and populist."

Bělobrádek's view is that Europe cannot completely close its common border. He believes that refugees who make it to the Schengen area border have nothing left to lose and will do all they can to get in.

"I think we should avoid simplistic solutions. We should especially avoid them in a situation where our society is fascisizing," Bělobrádek said, adding that democracy and freedom require the upholding of certain basic principles.

"I think anyone who sees what is going on around us, everyone who reads the things turning up not just online, but anywhere else the citizens get the opportunity to express themselves, can see that these tendencies to fascisization are naturally here," PM Sobotka said, pointing out that once the careers of some politicians begin to wilt, they attempt to shore up their careers by exploiting such themes. However, the PM said he believes most citizens are capable of viewing this or any other problem realistically.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Bohuslav Sobotka, Evropská unie, refugee, Xenophobia



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