Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – The Czech aversion to German Chancellor Angela Merkel is incomprehensible because no other strong European politician did so much for maintaining EU unity in the past decade, Ondrej Houska writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) on Tuesday, two days before Merkel’s visit in Prague.

Every society likes to find its enemies and Czechs are no exception. Due to the Willkommenskultur, the welcoming of refugees from the Middle East, Merkel has been considered the arch enemy by many Czechs, Houska writes.

Merkel is a clear ally of smaller EU countries. She could have preferred the interests of the euro zone many time regardless of the countries that do not have euro as their currency. Many euro zone countries would appreciate it, but Merkel has never accepted such calls, even though the future of the euro is a key priority for Germany, Houska writes.

Merkel seeks consensus even in informal debates behind closed doors in which she does not have to pretend anything. It is usually her who is trying to reach an agreement that would be acceptable for everybody, while the others mostly focus on the promotion of their own national interests. Such positions are legitimate, but Merkel knows that Germany has a broader responsibility, Houska says.

But the Czechs pay no heed to this and they sharply criticise and even offend Merkel for her attitude towards refugees, he adds.

One can hardly imagine a German chancellor that would be better for Czechs. Both of her predecessors, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder, would probably promote German interests more assertively than she does it.

Though welcoming of refugees and the quotas for distribution of asylum seekers across the EU does not seem to be the right solution, Germany is no enemy, Houska writes.

Those who support the party Alternative for Germany (AfD), such as Vaclav Klaus, should reconsider it because German nationalists have never been good for Czechs, Houska says.

Merkel lost a part of her supporters, but her popularity is still higher than that of most Czech politicians and her Christian Democrats (CDU) remains the strongest party in Germany, Houska writes.

Moreover, the German government changed its originally rather naive attitude to the refugee crisis, he says.

The Czechs like to call their “enemies” names and accuse them of various evils, for example, that Merkel wants millions of refugees to settle in Europe in order to “dilute” the European nations and create a supranational entity more easily, which is absurd, Houska writes.

Czechs would have a much better position if they patiently negotiated in Europe, developed a coalition of countries that share a more reserved stance on the refugee issue, and showed at least some solidarity, Houska writes.