Workers Party cleaning out Czech taxpayers, costing CZK 50 million so far this year
Since the start of this year it has cost the Czech Police almost CZK 50 million to provide security during meetings and marches by the extreme-right wing Workers Party (Dělnická strana). According to today's Lidové noviny (LN) this amount is derived from the amount of police officers and technical support sent to their events, of which there have been 16 since January. In 2008, Workers Party public events cost the taxpayer dozens of millions of crowns, bringing the total amount which taxpayers have had to shell out due to the party's actions to around CZK 100 million.
The police do not keep a detailed inventory of such costs. "Since we are required by law to assist with such gatherings, the costs for that assistance are not usually calculated afterwards," South Moravian police spokesperson Soňa Svobodová told the paper.
By law police must work during such events free of charge, while in other cases their assistance is actually a paid service. "Separate compensation for police presence is legislated at CZK 300 per person per hour for their interventions during football matches, assistance during collections, or accompanying intoxicated persons to a police station. Demonstrations do not fall into this category," Police Presidium spokesperson Dagmar Bednarčíková told LN.
In larger towns, according to the paper, even more millions from municipal budgets should be added to that final amount. For example in Brno, during the party's May 1 demonstration, the transport authority had to reroute transportation and employ dozens of people on the holiday, such as the drivers of buses for substitute routes, dispatchers, and ticket-checkers. Town hall representatives say local municipal police were also on duty.
According to Czech Interior Minister Martin Pecina, the government will file suit with the Supreme Administrative Court once again to have the Workers Party abolished. It will do so once the six-month time bar after the first unsuccessful attempt to dissolve the Workers Party has elapsed. The first unsuccessful attempt took place at the start of March 2009 under Pecina's predecessor, Ivan Langer (ODS).
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