Prague, Sept 18 (CTK) – Opposition TOP 09 will propose that the Chamber of Deputies adopt a resolution calling on the Czech cabinet to accept 50 orphans from refugee camps in Greece, the party’s representatives announced at a press conference today.
TOP 09 first deputy chairwoman Marketa Pekarova Adamova said this would be a symbolic humanitarian gesture.
The party thus ties in with the initiative of MEP Michaela Sojdrova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), which PM Andrej Babis rejected and criticised.
Adamova said that a civilised country should be able to make such a gesture.
“It is within the powers of the Czech Republic to help the children that are suffering hardship. It is a symbolic gesture,” she said.
TOP 09 detailed the content of the resolution for the Chamber of Deputies as an appeal on the cabinet to accept a minimum of 50 orphans from refugee camps, according to its choice, and secure adequate care for them.
According to TOP 09 deputy group chairman Miroslav Kalousek, the resolution should appeal on the cabinet, but would not suggest a specific mechanism of accepting the orphaned children.
“We want to avoid international embarrassment due to our policy towards this type of refugees,” he said.
Babis (ANO) said he would discuss the affair with Sojdrova on Friday afternoon.
Sojdrova told CTK on Monday she wanted to meet Babis over her proposal that was to show solidarity in the refugee crisis.
The server HlidaciPes.org said the meeting would be held at 16:00 on Friday.
Sojdrova would like to the senators and representatives of civic society who backed her proposal to be present at the meeting, too.
Deputy Helena Valkova (ANO) has told journalists she would like to be there, too.
Babis has confirmed the meeting, but advised that the children should be helped there where they were born and lived. He said that the orphans’ were boys between 12 and 17 and said Sojdrova attempted to increase her visibility before the European Parliament (EP) elections.
Civic Democrats (ODS) deputy group head Zbynek Stanjura criticised the cynical abuse of the issue in the political fight. The cabinet should discuss the matter seriously, but discretely, he said.
The Pirates head Ivan Bartos stressed that the PM neither played a role in issues of asylum as this was in the competence of the Interior Ministry, nor in foster care, where courts were competent. He said help to orphans should not be rejected a priori and that accepting orphans from Jordan could be considered as well. However, he warned that rash gestures could do harm and the society should deal with the issue of foster care for Czech children, too.
KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek told journalists today that the orphans should be accepted only if verified and when families to look after them are prepared. This would show into which civilisation circle the country belongs, he said.
The Communists (KSCM) and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) agree with Babis’s views that the situation should be resolved primarily in Syria.
“We have enough of our own orphans and children that are not being provided for in our own country, we have our own problems with children that we have to deal with,” SPD deputy head Radim Fiala said.
The Mayors and Independents (STAN) said at their press conference it was important that specific initiative or proposal be submitted. According to STAN deputy head Vit Rakusan, the solution needs to be systemic, as merely placing the children in children’s homes in the Czech Republic would not make sense.
“It is a commendable initiative. I don’t see a reason why the Czech Republic could not help orphaned children,” he said.