Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) – The Czech government will not look for any alternative to the active EU membership, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said at the traditional New Year’s meeting with the diplomatic corps on Tuesday.

Babis met the ambassadors as the prime minister of the government that is to tender the resignation on Wednesday as it was not voted confidence by the Chamber of Deputies last week.

Last week, Babis was released for prosecution by the lower house over his implication in an EU subsidy fraud.

“Some EU countries have troubles with liberal democracy, but this will never be the case of the Czech Republic. We do not intend to play with fire of nationalism and xenophobia. We will protect independent media and we will never touch independence of the judicial pillar,” Babis said.

Babis assured the envoys that he was no populist or Eurosceptic. These are just labels with which some media have denoted him, he added.

“This government does not look for an alternative to our active and constructive EU membership. Of course, we do fight for our national interests and priorities. But so does any other member state of the European Union,” Babis said.

Babis said the continuation of good economic results and growth in investments were among the priorities of the government.

It also wants to enhance the rule of law and internal security, he added.

Along with the EU and NATO, France, Germany, the USA, Israel and the Visegrad Four countries (along with the Czech Republic Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) are crucial foreign partners of the Czech Republic, Babis said.

After Babis, a speech was delivered by Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza who represented the whole diplomatic corps.

President Milos Zeman has said he will entrust Babis with forming another government, but this time he must muster the support of at least 101 deputies in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies.