The Czech prime minister designate, Andrej Babiš, says the biggest problem
facing the European Union is illegal migration. He made the comments in a
keynote address at the opening of the three-day Prague European Summit in
the Czech capital.
Mr. Babiš told delegates that problems surrounding migration had led to a rise in political extremism and sparked discord between individual states. He added that the Prague government was ready to play in a role in the fight against illegal migration.
The Interior Ministry this week issued its annual report on extremism, in which it says that ultra-right groupings are no longer politically relevant and their agenda has been adopted by the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), which however cannot be defined as “extremist”. I spoke to extremism expert Miroslav Mareš, about the gradual seeping of in tolerance into mainstream political parties and why it is that the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party cannot be defined as extremist.
Plans to cut housing benefits for the socially disadvantaged are in the spotlight ahead of a special debate scheduled for the lower house on Thursday. The ANO government say the move will curb landlords exploiting the poverty of others – but members of the opposition warn that it could undermine the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I discussed the issue with Kumar Vishwanathan, a community worker in North Moravia.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said that in order to stem the flow of economic migrants into the EU, the border protection agency Frontex needs a clear mandate allowing its agents to operate “outside of Europe”. In a statement to the European Commission on Monday, Babiš also said that Frontex needs “more than just a few boats” to do its job and therefore must be better funded.
In response to numerous complaints with regard to abuse of the Czech visa system in Ukraine, the Czech consulate in Lvov has moved to simplify and speed up the process. Steps have been taken to root out corruption by local middlemen who blocked the registration system, making it virtually impossible for anyone else to sign up for months. Applicants will now be able to book by phone, eliminating the long waiting lines outside the consulate and the waiting time for a visa should be reduced from 130 days to 75.
The number of Czechs who are unconditionally against the Czech Republic
taking in refugees has dropped by 11 percent, to 58 percent, according to a
poll conducted by the CVVM agency.
Eighty-two percent of Czechs consider refugees a potential threat to European security and 71 percent say they are a threat to global peace.
Thirty-five percent of Czechs would agree to the Czech Republic taking in refugees until it is safe for them to return to their homeland. In the autumn of last year only 25 percent of Czechs expressed this view.
Why do ethnic conflicts in some parts of the world flare up so easily and spread so fast? Is ethnic hate and intolerance contagious? Researchers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined forces to try to find the answers to some of those questions and arrived at some surprising conclusions. I spoke to Associate Professor Michal Bauer, an expert on experimental and behavioral economics at CERGE-EI, who is one of the authors of the study, and began by asking him what motivated the research in this field.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday sharply rejected the idea that the Czech Republic should pay some form of compensation for not accepting migrant quotas. In response to proposals floated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the weekend, Mr. Babiš said the Czech people and Czech firms themselves would decide who would live and work in this country.
Czech president burns giant red underpants at press briefing
Restoration work on Prague’s Astronomical Clock reveals hidden secrets
Czech restaurants and pubs facing serious shortage of workers
Václav Klaus: Russia not a threat to Czech Republic, unlike EU
Ozzy Osbourne performing in Prague with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Johnny Depp