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Milos Zeman; Anti-immigration protest

Czech President mockingly declares himself ‘Agent of Putin, Trump, China’

On Friday the Czech Republic’s conservative Euroskeptic president, Milos Zeman, mocked the media during a press conference where he announced his intention to run for a second term.

Published: March 13, 2017, 4:15 pm

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    Zeman declared himself an “agent” of not only of Russia’s president Putin, but also various other nations and leaders, including Donald Trump. Speaking in Prague, Zeman launched his 2018 re-election campaign during a televised event.

    He vowed not to change his conservative platform, to promote Czech national interests over EU-driven agendas, Reuters reported.

    Zeman joked on a Russian TV channel about being branded a “Russian agent” in the Czech media. “I am an agent of Russia, and particularly of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin” he declared in Russian. “I should add that I am also an agent of the Chinese President. Lately also of the new American President. I am an agent of Israel, which I have been supporting all this time.”

    In reality, however, he said he was actually the agent of one country only, the Czech Republic. Zeman said media’s paranoia about Russia had prompted him to seek re-election. “Each of their attacks encouraged me more to run. Thank you, Czech media,” he added acerbically.

    Zeman has often been at odds with the government of Social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, which has been a staunch supporter of Brussels in maintaining anti-Russian sanctions and open-border immigration.

    Though Zeman is a figurehead similar to therole presidents play in other European states, with limited executive authority, he remains one of the country’s most popular politicians. The Czech president took up his largely ceremonial role in 2013

    He has often called for closer ties with Russia and China, supported Israel as an ethnic nation state, and warned against the inflow of asylum seekers from Muslim nations. In January he pointed to obvious examples all over Europe which showed Muslims were not willing to adopt European laws and customs.

    He said: “Look across Europe and wonder to what extent Muslim migrants were able to integrate. You will learn about the so-called no go areas and ‘excluded neighbourhoods.’

    “As for the Czech Republic, the Muslim community is very much limited here. I am warning against its strengthening.”

    In April last year Zeman, warned that it would become impossible for Muslims to be a part of an integrated, peaceful society in Europe. “The experience of western European countries which have ghettos and excluded localities shows that the integration of the Muslim community is practically impossible. Let them have their culture in their countries and not take it to Europe, otherwise it will end up like Cologne.

    “Integration is possible with cultures that are similar, and the similarities may vary.”

    The Czech Social Democrats are struggling against their ruling coalition rivals, the ANO movement of billionaire Finance Minister Andrej Babis. Zeman may favor Babis over Sobodka to form a new coalition government, if neither party wins a majority of parliamentary seats in October.

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