Prague incensed by Merkel's refugee speech
A speech given by Angela Merkel to commemorate the German victims of mass expulsions after WWII and to mark World Refugee Day has triggered harsh reactions from the Czech Republic. In her speech Merkel had said that there was no "moral or political justification" for expulsions. Some commentators show understanding for the indignant reaction from politicians in Prague. Others see the whole affair as a storm in a teacup.
Chancellor should hold her tongue
For Mladá fronta dnes, Merkel has opened a can of worms:
“To rage against the Beneš decrees [on the dispossession and expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia] is like Czechs pointing to the blood on German hands every time they talk to a German. It arouses unnecessary emotions ... A few years back Merkel was regarded as a political star in the Czech Republic, with as much as 71 percent of the population trusting her. The wave of migration and the imposition of distribution quotas for migrants has destroyed this. Today only 18 percent of Czechs trust her, 70 percent no longer trust her. Not only here has Merkel yet again missed an opportunity to keep quiet for a change.”
Hysterical reaction from Prague
Public broadcaster Český rozhlas is appalled by the harsh reactions coming from Prague:
“The chancellor didn't say a single word about the Czech Republic in her speech. Not a single word! Merkel talked about the current migration crisis and simply recalled past experiences in this context. But in the Czech Republic it instantly becomes politically explosive, without anyone even reading the speech. ... This indicates complete ignorance of Czech-German relations. We are revealing ourselves as a frustrated Czech society riddled with prejudice. We know neither our own history nor our obligations and commitments.”