Czech semi-military group wants to become legal
The National Guard, a semi-military organisation established by the Czech nationalist National Party (NS), wants to operate as a legal civic association within a year, according to information obtained by CTK today.
Though politicians as well as the Interior Ministry say they will not allow the National Guard to exist legally, the extremists say they know how to achieve this.
According to CTK's sources, the NG currently focuses on making the National Party visible.
"At present we are operating as a group within the National Party. We have already asked to be registered, but not under the name National Guard. We will become an independent entity this year," NG spokesman Pavel Sedlacek told CTK.
A civic association called the National Guard has already been officially registered at the Interior Ministry but it has nothing in common with the NS's semi-military group, Sedlacek said.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Jana Malikova told CTK today that the ministry is closely watching the organisation's activities.
If it starts to exist as an independent association, it is up to the police to check its activities and take action if any breach of law occurs, Malikova said.
"In any case, we have to act in harmony with law and we therefore have to have a legal reason to take a possible action against it," Malikova said.
If the NG tries to get registered as a civic association, the Interior Ministry will most likely turn down its application.
The registration application must contain the organisation's plans and goals.
NG lawyers have already found several associations that can be used to make NG legal, Sedlacek said.
"There are several of them and we can change our name overnight," Sedlacek said.
The founders claim the guard is not armed, but it is based on a "strict military principle." The guard's activities are to rest in "assistance and service to the homeland," they say.
"It is a semi-military organised group that will serve not only our meetings, but also in disasters," ND chairwoman Petra Edelmannova said.
The planned establishment of the guard was previously criticised by Interior Minister Ivan Langer (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS), lower house security committee head Frantisek Bublan (senior opposition Social Democrats, CSSD) and Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic.
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