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Czech politicians react to Communist MP's false allegation that honoring the Roma victims of Nazism has raised the price of pork

15.8.2019 8:49
The signing of the contract to buy out the pig farm at Lety u Písku, Czech Republic on 23 November 2017. (PHOTO:  Richard Samko)
The signing of the contract to buy out the pig farm at Lety u Písku, Czech Republic on 23 November 2017. (PHOTO: Richard Samko)

"The Communists are spitting on the memory of the victims of Nazism, this is disgusting, a pure communist lie ..." That was the tenor of the sharp reactions from some Czech politicians to the recent remark made by the chair of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), Vojtěch Filip, when he alleged on Twitter that the state buyout of the industrial pig farm at Lety u Písku, which for decades has been located on the site of a former concentration camp for Roma, is responsible for the rising cost of pork in the country.

Facts and statistics clearly demonstrate that his statement was a deceptive one. The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) responded through its official Twitter account as follows: "This statement by the chair of the KSČM, Vojtěch Filip, is disgusting! The site of a former concentration camp where several hundred people perished, including dozens of infants and children, should be sacred. [The buyout] was a good step by a ČSSD Government."

The ČSSD also retweeted a message from their current nominee for Culture Minister, Michal Šmarda. He recalled President Zeman's 1997 remarks about the buyout of the farm (when, as head of the ČSSD, Zeman said it would be cowardice not to do so) and closed by saying the Communists are spitting on the memory of the victims of Nazism.

Czech MP Miroslav Kalousek of the TOP09 party also joined the criticism of Filip on Twitter and called his remark a "pure communist lie". Czech MP Martin Baxa, the vice-chair of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) who is also the Mayor of Plzeň, tweeted that Filip's remark was "shameless impudence".

According to Czech MP Marek Výborný, chair of the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), Filip should stick to commenting on things he understands. "The horseshoe-maker should stick to the hoof! Chairman Filip shouldn't comment on what he clearly does not understand. I don't have to be an agronomist or economist to know that what he said is nonsense. That's just common sense," he tweeted.

Jan Bartošek (KDU-ČSL) said Filip's tweet was just meant to incite hatred in society. "These are remarks by the chair of the KSČM, otherwise known as an economist and expert on agriculture all in one. Genius. I'm curious to see what he'll come up with next. The facts disagree with him, but the main thing is to incite hatred in society. Even at the cost of lying. Bravo!" he tweeted.

Former Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-ČSL), who saw through the buyout of the farm, also criticized Filip's remark. He tweeted that the Communist chair's assertions about a connection to the pork price were "absurd".

Filip previously questioned whether the farm should be bought out and alleged that it was not located on the site of a former concentration camp. Experts also refuted those deceptions, specifically, for example, through archaeological research.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Extremism, KSČM, Lety u Písku, Racism



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