Prague, July 18 (CTK) – U.S. author James Kirchick criticised Czech President Milos Zeman’s accommodating approach to Russia and called the stances of Zeman, as well as his presidential predecessor Vaclav Klaus, shameful in an interview with CTK.
He said in a country that experienced Russian occupation, he would expect more understanding for the situation in Ukraine and that former Czech president Vaclav Havel’s legacy in this respect tends to be forgotten.
Kirchick, the author of the book The End of Europe, which he will present at the Colours of Ostrava upcoming music festival in the capital of Moravia-Silesia, said he feels confused by the political situation in the Czech Republic where he earlier worked as a journalist.
Besides Zeman, he criticised Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), the controversial Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement of Tomio Okamura and the Communists (KSCM).
He said he was shocked at finding Europhobia widespread among the Czechs. The idea of Czechia, a small country surrounded by big neighbours, functioning outside the EU is simply ridiculous. The Czech Republic experienced its best years as a member of the EU, Kirchick pointed out.
In his book, Kirchick writes that from the point of view of security, Europe is faced with two main problems – Russia and migration.
He writes that liberal migrant policy is not a vital need for liberal democracies. For example, he does not criticise Hungarian leader Viktor Orban for his migrant policy but for his attacks on the judiciary and independent media.
If centrist parties do not pull together and start dealing with migration, the issue may be solely taken up by extremist parties for their own benefit, Kirchick said.
On the other hand, it is unacceptable of Prague to say it would accept no migrants, since this position is neither European nor wise, Kirchick said, adding that he believes that Czechia can afford to accept several thousand migrants without ending up like France.
Born in 1983, Kirchick previously worked with the Prague-seated Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). He has published articles in many newspapers in the USA and Europe. His new book is based on his own work as a reporter.