Europe’s leading anti-immigration parties gathered in Prague at the weekend for a conference aimed at coordinating their policies and rallying anti-EU, anti-immigration forces on the continent. On their way into the heavily fortified hotel on the outskirts of Prague they were booed by hundreds of demonstrators chanting “shame” and “NO to fascism, populism and xenophobia”.
Several hundred people demonstrated in Prague against a meeting of
anti-immigrant European parties on Saturday.
They protested outside the Prague hotel where the meeting was convened and were later scheduled to converge later in the centre of the city.
The meeting, featuring France’s Marine Le Pen and the Netherland’s Geert Wilders, was held at the invitation of the leader of the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy Party,
Tomio Okamura. The Czech leader, whose party gained the third most seats in parliament in October’s elections, said he was a convinced European but did not want to see the continent constructed on an administrative framework out of Brussels.
Le Pen’s said the direction Europe was now heading in was against the tide of history. Wilders said he hoped the Czech Republic would continue to close its doors to what he described as mass immigration.
Police said around 300 people took part in a demonstration against the meeting on Friday.
The newly-elected Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, went to the EU summit in Brussels with two priorities uppermost in mind: defending the country’s anti-migrant stance and gaining more allies in the block. However neither his arguments nor a financial pledge of 220 million euros in aid of the migrant crisis helped him to avert the threat of legal action from Brussels.
The European Commission has announced it is suing the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary in the bloc’s top court for their refusal to take in asylum seekers in line with the Commission’s mandatory re-distribution mechanism. Prague says it will not change its stand and warns that a court case will only further undermine public trust in EU institutions.
Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, the Social Democratic Party’s
election leader, has slammed party colleague and the mayor of Brno
Bohunice, Milan Hrdlička, for making highly insulting remarks about
migrants in the city council’s news bulletin.
The mayor warned about the threat of an influx of „slugs“ from Spain, Italy and other states who would devastate the country and stop at nothing.
A person who degrades people to slugs and incites racial hatred has no place in the Social Democratic Party, Mr. Zaorálek tweeted.
The Czech Republic should transport the EUs free movement of workers
directive into its legislation within a matter of weeks, the minister for
legislation and human rights Jan Chvojka said in response to the ECs
announcement it would take the Czech Republic to court over its failure to
do so. Chvojka said the legislation still needed to win approval in the
Senate and would be signed into law by the president, a process expected to
take just a few weeks.
The Czech Republic could face sanctions over its failure to transport the directive into its national legislation. The regulation was to enter into force at the latest by May 2016. The commission has proposed that the Czech Republic pay 33,510 euros per day until it adopts the directive into law.