The fundamental challenge that awaits Czech society is the acceptance of the large number of Ukrainian immigrants. From what has been happening so far in less than three months – do you feel that there is a potential for successful integration that could lead to the “oxygenation” of Czech society that some are talking about?
I still feel that nowhere on earth are there people more suitable for integration into Czech society than Ukrainians, except for Slovaks. But I also see absolutely catastrophic cluelessness and lack of vision on the part of the government. The logical thing to do would be to immediately stop paying for weapons for an unnecessary war and spend the money saved on new jobs, new housing, new health and education facilities and so on. It would also create opportunities for local people.
But on the other hand, why should the cluelessness matter? For those who control the big money, for them the status quo means cheap labour on the one hand, and higher rental prices on the other. The incompetence of the Czech Prime Minister suits them perfectly.
What hurts the rich, on the other hand, are shortages of specific raw materials and the disruption of global supply chains. This bothers even the very rich. This, after all, is also evident in the Czech government’s approach to the oil embargo.
What can be seen in the approach to the oil embargo?
The current government supports even the most senseless measures, does not address the impact on the Czech people at all, and has suddenly got stuck with oil out of the blue. We are in favour of sanctions, but only in a few years’ time, when the new pipeline is completed. What could lead the Government to change its position so radically on a single issue? Of course, I don’t know what’s going on in Fiala’s office, but the logical explanation is that one of the “big boys” simply picked up the phone and told the Prime Minister that his company needs the oil, so he should get a move on.
But there is no “big boy” who would call the Prime Minister to tell him that the Czechs have no place to live or that they have no money for food and no money to pay their bills.
What we hear from the government and the mainstream media is that society is enthusiastically accepting migrants, and that criticism of migration policy is just a political intention of a part of the spectrum (motivated by populism or pro-Russian orientation). What effect can it have on the public if its concerns are downplayed in this way?
Opinion polls show that a massive majority of the public disagrees with the government’s approach. People would like to help the Ukrainians, but it must not be at the cost of impoverishing the Czech population.
But let us not expect any resistance, but rather resignation. And also that some will become radicalised. When a country is falling into poverty and a minority is getting rich fast, there is still the possibility of becoming a lackey of that minority. We will see even more political correctness, even more pro-Ukrainian bigotry, and a lot of denunciation. The faster the country gets poorer, the more they will try.