MEP Jan Zahradil has said he agrees with the move taken by Italy recently which sent a message to migrants, smugglers, and NGOs that by closing the ports they are not welcome.
“What, however, has made this message a bit diminishing is the Italian prime minister’s attempt to redistribute several hundreds of refugees who have been rescued or caught by fishing boats. Such an attempt sends an opposite signal,“ the Czech MEP said.
Zahradil also disagreed with the conclusions of a study by Harvard University, according to which Czechs are the biggest racists in Europe.
“If you look at what is constantly happening to Poland or Hungary in European parliament, you will find out that they do not really understand us at all,” Zahradil said.
He also criticized the attitude of the old member states to the new ones, saying that the old and new members speak with different languages and do not communicate equally.
“This is quite an unexpected experience for me, and there is a need for empathy from Western European countries, from what we know as Old Europe, to a new Europe. Otherwise we will not get out from the vicious circle,“ he said.
At the beginning of the interview, Zahradil also focused on US President Donald Trump’s relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and broadly discussed Russian interference in the US presidential elections in 2016. According to Zahradil, Trump doesn´t like the questioning of his victory and wants to silence his critics and opponents.
Finally, Zahradil talked about the importance of the European Union in international negotiations but said it no longer has the power it once had.
“The European Union is certainly not a significant player in the quadrangle that has been created in the world (…) It also turned out that from the point of view of Trump’s style or his understanding of foreign policy, the US president prefers to communicate with individual states (France or Germany) rather than with European Union as a whole.“