Current Affairs Civic Democrat Jan Zahradil analyses election results
With thirty percent of support, the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats are clearly the winners of the European parliamentary elections. Jan Zahradil, will be one of the nine Czech Civic Democrats spending the next five years in Brussels:
"People in many European countries are simply fed up with the whole flat and very difficult Europhile rhetoric. They are fed up with various kinds of visionary dreaming, sometimes even very lunatic dreaming, when in reality, things are quite different and the European Union is facing very tough problems: unemployment, slow economic growth, slow economic dynamism. So I think that this was a very clear response that people are not that much attracted by the European idea any more."
Why do you think did twenty percent then actually decide to vote for the Communists instead of the Civic Democrats to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation?
"I think it's a good question but not for me, but rather for the Social Democrats because these voters, who voted for the Communist Party, are, in my opinion, disillusioned voters of the Social Democrats. They are those people who once believed Mr Spidla and all his promises, which he didn't deliver because he gave too many promises from the beginning. And of course, these people got frustrated and they somehow were not able to stick with the party anymore."
And finally, what will be your goals in Brussels?
"I think that first of all we would like to shorten some of these temporary provisions imposed on us that make our membership in the European Union a kind of second-class membership; all these temporary restrictions from the labour market, from the free movement of people, the agricultural subsidies, and things like that, and secondly, of course, we plan to promote the same values as at home. It means the deregulation, decentralisation and de-bureaucratisation of the European Union, lowering of the tax burden and things like that. We think that without all these necessary reforms no European country, or the European Union as a whole could proceed further successfully. If such reforms are not completed, this would, in my opinion, influence in a very negative way the future of the Europe, which means the future of all of us."