Jean Asselborn criticised the Czech election winner Andrej Babiš for his anti-refugee statements
Photo: Sébastien Goossens
Czech election winner Babis is criticised for his anti-refugee policy by Asselborn
Luxembourg foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn is worried about the election victory of Andrej Babiš, who won in Sunday’s Czech parliamentary elections.
Asselborn said he did not understand how the Czech Republic could be against taking on refugees.
The Tagesspiegel reported that Asselborn criticised Babiš’ position on the refugee policy:
“I don’t understand how a potential future prime minister from the Czech Republic, the country of Charta 77 by Vaclav Havel, declares to the world in his first statement that his country will not take on a single refugee.”
“In 1968 many EU countries, including Luxembourg, were proud to give refugees from former Czechoslovakia the chance for a new life.”
After the crackdown of the Prague Spring in August 1968, more than 80,000 Czechoslovakians fled to the West.
Czech elections bring it closer to Hungary and Poland
The Czech Republic voted 9 political parties into parliament. The biggest winner was the populist Ano (Yes) with 29.6%, the Civic Democratic Party followed with 11.3%, the Czech Pirate Party with 10.8%, while the radical right party Freedom and Free Democracy Party (SPD) reached 10.6%. The communist KSCM had a disappointing result with 7.8% and the Social Democrats (CSSD) got 7.3%.
The businessman Andrej Babiš, who was the finance minister in the previous government, launched Ano, which is a populist grouping built around opposition to traditional political elites.
Jan Rovny, an Assistant Professor at Sciences Po, describes the party as follows:
“ANO is more of a pure populist party which is hard to pin down to any stable position or political label at all. The election programme contained a good number of specific proposals, such as building roads, or cutting taxes on specific goods, such as beer, or services, such as hair cuts. But ANO deliberately avoids the traditional party function of issue aggregation. It provides no clear indication of its general political leaning or identity.”
On the European union, he argues that:
“Although the pre-election programme of ANO appears to be explicitly pro-European, Babiš has opposed the adoption of the euro, denounced EU migrant quotas, and generally criticised European integration using discourse that is all too reminiscent of the radical right. ANO’s key catch concept of 'pragmatism’ seems to boil down to a striking and explicit absence of any ideology, suggesting that it is primarily a political arm of Babiš’s business empire, making it more like a Ukrainian, rather than a central European style party.”
Rovny added that
“The parties represented in parliament are thus going to differ more on cultural issues, migration, the approach to Czech sovereignty, and related views on European integration. This is likely to pivot political competition in the Polish and Hungarian direction.”