The Czech government will send some 225 million crowns (nearly nine million
euros) to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. The proposal was made by Interior
Minister Lubomír Metnar and approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. The
Czech donation should be used in Libya to improve medical services and ease
the return of immigrants to the country. The money should be delivered to
Libya by the end of February.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the EU summit in Malta in 2015 to tackle the EU’s biggest ever migration crisis. The Czech Republic has previously donated more than 42 million crowns (around 1.6 million euros) to the fund.
Jiří Drahoš, challenger to incumbent president Miloš Zeman in the
second round of presidential elections, has stated that while he is against
a dictate from Brussels regarding the number of migrants the Czech Republic
should accept, he feels that the country is strong enough, both from the
administrative and security aspects, to take in a certain amount of
Mr. Drahoš made the statement in an interview for Novinky.cz. The incumbent president has a strong anti-migrant stance.
The Museum of Romani Culture will take over the former pig farm in Lety
near Písek, which stands at the site of a WWII Roma concentration camp, in
March, its spokesman announced in a press release on Tuesday.
After years of negotiations, the government last year finally agreed with the farm’s owner on a buyout for roughly 450 million crowns. A proper memorial to the victims of the Romany Holocaust is set to be built at the site.
More than 1,300 Roma men, women and children were held at the camp at Lety beginning in 1940: an estimated 327 of them died at the site, largely due to disease; more than 500 of those interned were transported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, from which they never returned.
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 newly-appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is representing
the Czech Republic at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, has reaffirmed the
country’s negative stance to mandatory migrant quotas, highlighting its
strong engagement in helping to resolve the situation in the countries of
migrant origin. The Czech prime minister met with the heads of government
of the Visegrad Four states and with EC President Jean Claude Junker to
discuss the ECs decision to sue the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary over
their unwillingness to accept migrants.
The Visegrad Four announced at the summit that they will contribute 35 million euros to strengthen Libya’s borders and alleviate the plight of migrants in the country.
Just days ahead of a scheduled EU summit on migration, Prague has announced the launch of a Visegrad group project to strengthen Libyan border protection and improve the plight of refugees in the country. The Czech Republic, which now faces a lawsuit over its failure to take in refugees, is pushing the view that the crisis needs to be resolved outside of Europe.
Today a life peer in Britain’s House of Lords, Alfred Dubs was just six years old when he became one of over 660 Jewish children saved from Nazi-occupied Prague by Sir Nicholas Winton. The Labour politician last year made headlines for attaching an amendment to an immigration bill that offered unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to Britain, though the UK authorities later largely abandoned the scheme. When we spoke recently in London, I asked Lord Dubs – now 85 – about his own beginnings in the UK and attitudes to refugees today. But we
The new US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Stephen King, presented the
2017 Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award to Roma activist Čeněk
Růžička. According to the embassy, Mr Růžička received the award for
his tireless advocacy of Roma Holocaust victims and his decades-long
struggle for a dignified memorial on the site of the Lety concentration
The Alice G. Masaryk Human Rights Award was established in 2004 to recognize persons and institutions in the Czech Republic who have made exceptional and continuing contributions to the advancement of human rights. Previous award winners include the ombudswoman Anna Šabatová or head of Transparency International David Ondračka.
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