ANO leader Andrej Babiš has echoed similar calls made by President Miloš Zeman for future decisions on accepting migrants into the Czech Republic to be subject to approval by parliament. Also echoing Zeman, Babiš has declared that not one migrant should be permitted into the Czech Republic, even provisionally. An association of Czech NGOs who help migrants in the country has labelled such remarks as dangerous populism. In response, Prague Castle called for such charities to be denied state funding. That will show them!
Meanwhile Petr Mach, head of the Eurosceptic and libertarian Party of Free Citizens, has other concerns on his mind. Mach’s Brussels attendance records, floor speeches, and other efforts have made him one of the lowest ranked members of the European Parliament according to independent watchdogs. Both his spokesperson and Mach himself no doubt remain convinced that the MEP’s voters couldn’t care less about a high score in this particular ranking. After all that would mean Mach had become a Europhile, and he certainly would not want that. A rock solid argument. Such sloth is certainly well worth an encore vote in 2019!
It’s also worth remembering that the pangs of freedom and independence run so deep in the Free Citizens party that last year it even supported the efforts of its member Vít Jedlička to proclaim the creation of a new micro-nation called “Liberland” spanning about 7 km2 in a disputed area between Croatia and Serbia on the banks of the Danube.
The Czech team has certainly had an impact at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Social networks across the world have been filled with chatter focused on the team’s striped wool blazers and straw hats. The suggestion is that they looked like they had come out of some horror show during the opening ceremony. Time for an investigation into what exactly the designer had in mind…