Czech Republic. According to
COUNTRYAAH, President Miloš Zeman declared in April
that the door to his residence at the Prague Castle was
closed to the US ambassador, who criticized Zeman for
wanting to participate in Moscow's celebration of the 70th
anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Most other
European leaders boycotted the ceremony because of the
Russian military adventure in Ukraine.
The outspoken Zeman had also criticized EU and Czech
sanctions against Moscow. Zeman in turn received criticism
from Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who felt that the
Czech Republic must stand united with NATO and the EU
against the Kremlin.
Zeman traveled to Moscow in May but refrained from the
military parade on Red Square. He met President Vladimir
Putin, who praised Zeman. Back in Prague, Zeman was met by
harsh criticism from the press and from politicians who
accused him of bowing to a dictator threatening Ukraine's
In June, the government presented a proposal for a
constitutional amendment, which would reduce the president's
influence over foreign policy and authority in appointments.
Zeman reacted to the proposal and described it as absurd.
When in September the EU wanted to introduce mandatory
refugee reception quotas, the Czech Republic together with
Slovakia and Hungary said no. However, the government was
not prepared, like Slovakia, to challenge the EU decision in
court. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that
the Czech Republic treats refugees abusive and violates
human rights in what has been described as an attempt to
deter asylum seekers. In addition, President Zeman was
accused of Islamophobic statements, something the
presidential office rejected.
On the Czech National Day in October, thousands of people
in several cities went into xenophobic demonstrations. In
Prague, riot police took action to separate the hostile
protesters from hundreds of counter-protesters. Among the
speakers were the founder of the German anti-Islamic
In November, an open quarrel broke out between Prime
Minister Sobotka and President Zeman on the refugee issue.
Zeman described the migrant wave as an organized invasion of
hidden terrorists and said that Sobotka's attitude
threatened the security of the Czech Republic. Sobotka said
the threat did not come from refugees, who needed help, and
he accused Zeman of collaborating with populists who exploit
the fear of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist movement. Zeman
had held a speech standing next to an extreme anti-Islamist,
who wrote on Facebook that Muslims should be put in
concentration camps and ground for minced meat. Zeman said
he was not aware of the statement, which later led to
suspicion of anger against people.