Czech Republic: row over 50 Syrian orphans

The Christian Democratic MEP Michaela Šojdrová from the Czech Republic has proposed that her country take in 50 Syrian war orphans. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, however, has rejected the proposal on the grounds that he is in principle against taking in refugees. The commentaries in the Czech papers say a thing or two about the views of their owners.

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Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Babiš must stick to his No

Lidové noviny, which belongs to the prime minister's publishing group, clearly sides with him and says that refugees have no place in the Czech republic:

“We know from experience how this worked out even with Christian refugees from Iraq. Some of these carefully selected people quickly moved on to Germany. It's hard to imagine that 17-year-olds who may have a roof over their head here but for whom everything else - the culture, the language, the values - would be completely foreign could be integrated here. It seems unlikely that they would accept our norms. In the best case they will travel on to Germany. In the worst case they will resort to violence to resolve everyday conflicts here.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

PM has lost all sense of humanity

Hospodářské noviny, on the other hand, finds Babiš's stance hypocritical:

“In the contest over who is the fiercest opponent of refugees Andrej Babiš has gone a step further. According to him the Czech Republic won't even take in orphans. ... And he says this before elections that have nothing to do with migration. But the topic is permeating everything in the Czech Republic today, it encompasses everything, even the local elections. And Babiš is proving once more that he has a talent for picking up on the mood. His statements are almost unbelievable: rejecting children who have lost their parents in the war - this is nothing but pure cynicism and testifies to a loss of all sense of humanity.”