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Chcípl PES wants to turn restaurants into a political space in a fight against COVID-19 restrictions

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Chcípl PES initiative plans to establish a political party Otevřeme Česko (Open Czechia). According to restaurateur Jiří Janeček, partnering restaurants, pubs and shops will become places for political party’s meetings, which will make them exempt from COVID-19 related measures.

“It is a response to the restrictions of this government, which does not want to deal with us, it only saves itself,” Janeček stated.

Janeček added that the point of the party is not to participate in the elections but rather to solve the current situation. They will organize a petition for the restaurants and stores to start conducting political activities. The restaurants can be recognized as spaces for political meetings with the citizens. According to Janeček, this would then exempt them from the COVID-19 regulations.

Also, the initiative criticizes the current Covid-Gastro restaurant program. The main requirement for getting financial aid from the government is to follow the local measures throughout the entire course of the pandemic. Štěpánka Filipová, the Ministry of Industry spokeswoman, explained that the government can’t subsidize businesses that violated the restrictions. The program is supposed to pay 400 czk per one employee for each closed day.

“The announced program is restrictive towards us. Whoever keeps their mouth shut will get it, whoever doesn’t – will not get anything at all. And the same will soon happen with the other rights guaranteed by the constitution,” Janeček added.

Currently, the Chcípl PES initiative has more than 1000 restaurants registered. The initiative doesn’t plan any massive protests as it did on January 10 when nearly three thousand people participated.

Jan Hamáček, the Minister of Interior, took it to Twitter to explain why this plan would not work.

“Violations of anti-COVID measures LIVE. Negotiations of a political party are not an exercise of employment, business, or the duties of a representative or constitutional official. Is it conscious ignorance or stupidity? I do not know what is worse…”

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