Sunday, 20 January 2019

Drahoš stresses EU, NATO membership, Zeman rejects migration

26 January 2018

Prague, Jan 25 (CTK) - Academic Jiri Drahos, who faces President Milos Zeman in the Czech presidential runoff, emphasises the country's EU and NATO membership among priorities on his website, while Zeman presents the need to fight migration and promote economic diplomacy among his priority goals.

A modern and safe state integrated in the EU and NATO, support for families and no misuse of the constitution are the visions presented by Drahos.

Zeman has not released any programme in case he is re-elected, and his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has not answered CTK's questions in this respect.

In his public appearances, Zeman often speaks of the need to fight migration, enable a referendum on Czech membership of the EU and promote economic diplomacy.

Referring to the danger of migration, Zeman demands a protection of the EU's outer border, deportation of the migrants who are not eligible to EU asylum, and aid to refugees in their countries of origin.

Zeman says though he promoted the euro adoption in the past, he would not introduce it in the Czech Republic now, so that Czech people are spared of covering Greece's debts.

As for economic diplomacy, it should also focus on eastern countries including Russia and China, Zeman says.

He has repeatedly supported the idea of reinforcing the president's powers. He would like the president to be empowered to submit bills, and would make it harder for the Chamber of Deputies to override the president's veto.

Zeman wants the Czech Republic to remain in both the EU and NATO, but he would not be opposed to staging a referendum on the country's stay in the EU.

Drahos has released several visions on his website, in which he presents his ideas of the country's orientation, the performance of the president and of the areas he would like to focus on.

"We have to have a goal. A strong, proud but democratic state. To achieve this, it is necessary not to fear the big and not to despise the small," Drahos wrote.

He vows to support active security policy and insists on Czech membership of NATO.

"It includes our willingness to help avert risks far beyond our borders," he wrote.

Drahos rejects migrant quotas and wants pressure to be exerted on Muslim communities to do away with "fanatics" among their ranks.

The Czech Republic should stop [internally] disputing about whether it wants to remain in the EU. Instead, it should seek a position it deserves in Europe, Drahos wrote.

He wrote he wants to actively contribute to the future bringing new job chances, and also to the development of the educational system.

If elected president, Drahos wants to promote bills in support of the family. He considers the traditional family model including a father and a mother optimal for child upbringing, but he does not rule out other types of family setups either, he wrote.

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