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New Czech protest group launches manifesto

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Prague, June 27 (CTK) – The new Czech protest group Justice and Innovation (SPIN) published the manifesto Several Sentences 2017 criticising the current situation in the Czech Republic and calling for social and political changes today.

It demands that the Czech Republic join the EU core, that the 5 percent threshold to enter the Chamber of Deputies be cancelled, that education be supported and that the media should not be in politicians’ hands.

The name of the manifesto, so far signed by some 40 personalities, refers to a dissident petition launched before the ousting of the Communist regime in 1989.

“The other day, Several Sentences were written by representatives of the awakening civic society because people wanted some values to be installed in society: democracy, freedom, human rights,” one of the authors of the current manifesto, Jan Stern, said.

“Now we wrote Several Sentences 2017 in a similar structure, but not to introduce new values to the general public, but to preserve the values we take for granted,” he added.

The manifesto says the politics and democratic system are facing a crisis.

“We are far from having got rid of the Soviet influence after 1989. The values of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and Vaclav Havel, with which our state was established, are being thrown away,” the manifesto says, referring to the first president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the independent Czech Republic.

The signatories of the document say the Czech Republic is lagging behind advanced countries in the technological sphere, only becoming a sort of assembly line of foreign companies.

Parliamentary parties do not tell the truth, only complying with the atmosphere in society, the manifesto said, adding that President Milos Zeman was a puppet of power interests of Moscow and Beijing.

Media outlets are influenced by power and economic interests and the judiciary is unable to punish the perpetrators of economic crime, the manifesto said.

The manifesto calls on Czech parties to advocate the Czech Republic’s anchoring in the West and to open their lists of candidates to independent experts.

The Czech Republic should advocate human rights, support innovations and education and reform the judiciary now protecting corrupt people.

The manifesto said people should only vote for the parties which would join the manifesto. Lawyer Jan Kalvoda said the SPIN would also take part in the election campaign in this way before the October election.

SPIN was established by the people around the Kromeriz Appeal that wants to choose the right candidate for president.

Several Sentences 2017 have been signed by rock musician Michael Kocab, actor and film director Jiri Madl, composer Vladimir Merta, pop singer Vojtech Dyk and chairwoman of the Czech Helsinki Committee Tana Fischerova.

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