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Former Czech President Klaus launches new petition against immigration

5.9.2015 20:50
Former Czech President Václav Klaus during his 2013 New Year's Day speech (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
Former Czech President Václav Klaus during his 2013 New Year's Day speech (PHOTO: Czech Television)

Former Czech President Klaus has initiated a new petition against immigration. The document, which he presented today at a briefing at the exhibition grounds in the town of Lysá nad Labem, calls on the Czech Government to ensure national security and the external inviolability of the state's borders by any means necessary, including deployment of the Army and Police.

Klaus is also calling for a rejection of EU quotas for the redistribution of refugees, a rejection of the currently valid international treaties on asylum policy, and for the Government to reject any pressure to amend those treaties to make more immigration easier. He is the first signatory of the document.

The ex-President claims he is not alone in making this challenge, but that his colleagues and friends are with him, and he believes he also has the support of thousands of citizens. He claims to have been forced into launching the petition, among other things, by requests from the public to stand behind an initiative that would be a counterbalance to the recent call by the Czech academic community for tolerance toward refugees.

"They said to me:  'Please do something so there isn't just that challenge from our quasi-academics and quasi-scholars'," Klaus said today. After he signed the online document, there were approximately 100 more signatures as of 11 AM.

Places for those who do not have Internet access will also be set up to collect signatures. "I would like to emphasize that we are not indifferent to the suffering of the thousands of people who are the product of wars or similar catastrophes, but - and this is terribly essential - we reject the manipulation of public opinion through the creation of a false sense of solidarity with these migrants," Klaus declared.  

The concerns of the public on this issue, in his view, should not be minimized. "We also disagree with various elitist groups hiding behind the facade of being academics, assumed moral authorities, or scholars and being presented as the norm of public opinion," he added.  

A recent Prague summit by the Visegrad group of countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) has thoroughly rejected a planned proposal from the European Commission to redistribute another 120 000 refugees throughout the EU. Klaus considers the idea of quotas for refugee redistribution a "joke" and is convinced that Czech politicians are needlessly hesitant on the issue and are not defending their citizens' security.    

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party) may have shifted his rhetoric a bit compared to the recent past, Klaus says, but he is still underestimating the problem, according to the ex-President. "We have the feeling that our Government is taking an alibistic, doubtful stance and that it is not facing up to the growing pressure from the leaders of the European superpowers with enough clarity - like so many other times in the past, we seem to be giving precedence to something other than our own national interest," Klaus declared.  

The ex-President is also bothered by the fact that EU leaders are criticizing the position taken by Hungary, which he believes is doing its best to uphold the principles of the Schengen area.He believes the current mass migration represents a serious threat to the stability of the Czech Republic, the Member States of the EU, and to Europe in general.

The countries that form the external border of the Schengen area, according to the ex-President, are obliged to secure their own borders. Klaus also believes they are obliged to return the migrants to their countries of origin.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Klaus, refugee, war, Xenophobia



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