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Greens must start to seek new allies, new chairman says

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Prague, Jan 24 (CTK) – The Czech Green Party (SZ) must change its way of explaining and defending its policy and start seeking new allies, Matej Stropnicky, who was elected party chairman for two years on Saturday, told journalists yesterday.
He said he hopes the new leadership will return the party to the Chamber of Deputies, where it was represented in 2006-10.
Now, the party is only represented in the Senate.
Stropnicky, 32, said he wants the party to cooperate with movements in regions, in which a number of former SZ members who left the party in the past work.
Stropnicky replaced Jana Drapalova who was not defending the chairmanship.
Physician Irena Moudra was elected first deputy chairwoman. Michal Bert is second deputy chairman and Petr Kutilek third deputy chairman.
In the resolutions the congress approved, the Greens among other call for the finance minister, Agrofert holding owner and ANO movement’s chairman, Andrej Babis, to sell his majority stake in the Mafra media group.
The Greens want to raise the minimum wage and old-age pensions. They would also increase the pay of teachers and healthcare and social workers.
“It is necessary to prevent big public deficits, that is why the government should increase the effectivity of tax collection,” one resolution says.
In foreign policy, the Greens place emphasis on human rights protection.
“The Green Party expresses concern about the intensifying verbal and physical attacks on persons of Muslim faith…and their sanctuaries,” says a resolution.
The party agrees with the reinforcing of the EU border guard and it calls for everything to be done to preserve the Schengen area.
Stropnicky repeated his criticism of President Milos Zeman´s statements about the migrant crisis.
According to Stropnicky, Zeman supports people´s prejudices, fears and weaknesses, which the president must not do.
“That is why we believe that it is necessary for the Green Party to participate in the formation of an alliance that will find a candidate capable of beating Milos Zeman [in the next direct presidential election to be held in 2018],” Stropnicky said.
Zeman has not yet said whether he will seek re-election.

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