For Czech leftists, old habits die hard
Even after decades of repression and the total lack of human rights under the Soviet yoke of tyranny, Czech leftists still find it hard to drop old habits.
Czechs leftists back business over human rights ahead of election
(Reuters) - The Czech Republic should not harm its business relations with Russia and China by stressing human rights concerns, the country's prospective finance minister said on Tuesday.
For most of the past two decades, foreign policy in the NATO and EU member country had a strong human rights aspect, thanks to the first post-communist President Vaclav Havel, himself a political prisoner when Prague was part of the Soviet bloc.
Jan Mladek, finance speaker for the Social Democrat party that is set to win the largest share of the vote in the Oct 25-26 election, said the government should care for jobs first.
"One extreme is the tendency to evaluate the quality of democracy in Russia. I admire the guts of someone who can do that. Maybe we should start with ourselves, and the tendency to discuss the quality of human rights or territorial integrity of China," Mladek said at a pre-election debate.
People who do that deprive the country of "tens of thousands of jobs", he said.
"By no means we should be advocating for authoritarian regimes, but on the other hand we need to accept these are large, important countries," he said.
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I will go out on a limb here and say that the message sent by the sculpture created by Czech artist David Cerny and directed at the communists in the Czech parliament (see below) is directed to the finance minister as well:
H/T Tania M.