Monday, 20 November 2017

Zeman: Possible departure form EU should be decided in referendum

ČTK |
26 February 2016

Semily, North Bohemia, Feb 25 (CTK) - President Milos Zeman does not agree with the opinions that the Czech Republic should leave the European Union despite his critical stances on it, he said on Thursday and added that a possible decision-making on such a step should have the form of a general referendum.

The Czech Republic's possible withdrawal from the EU has been considered in reaction to the June 23 referendum on possible Brexit.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has said he considers any proposals for the Czechs' withdrawal from the EU nonsensical, harmful and dangerous.

He said the EU membership is a guarantee of prosperity and security and confirmation of the post-communist developments in the country.

"If Britain leaves the EU, which I definitely do not wish, this will provoke a wave of nationalism and separatism across Europe. The European idea will be weakened," Sobotka has said.

He said if the Czech Republic ceased to be an EU member, it would relapse into Russia's sphere of influence, which he does not definitely wish.

Zeman said at a meeting with inhabitants of Semily, a stopover on his tour of the Liberec Region, "I would vote no whether as the president or as citizen Milos Zeman in reply to a question of whether I want to leave the European Union."

"It is naturally my own conviction which I am not pressing on anyone," Zeman said.

"I should fight for that all have the right to freely tell their opinion in this referendum, and that no one ban holding such a referendum," Zeman said.

Zeman considers himself to be a Eurofederalist. "I am for European integration, I am not for a European unitary state," he said.

He again criticised the EU for a lot of nonsensical directives with which it interferes in the powers of sovereign states, while it is not fulfilling its fundamental power as a complex of states.

"The protection of the external border, including the building of an EU border guard, is its fundamental duty. The migrant wave, mainly the wave of Islamic migrants with a culture that is incompatible with European culture should be stemmed," Zeman said.

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