Prominent leaders of the nationalist movement in Europe including Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders will gather in Prague for a Far-Right conference that may all but confirm populism is gaining traction in the Czech Republic.
The conference is being hosted by the anti-Islam Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) which won nearly 11% of the vote during the 2017 Parliamentary election. Attendees include the right- wing Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European parliament.
The SPD is led by Tomio Okamura, coincidentally an immigrant of Japanese descent. The party’s slogan “No to Islam, No to Terrorism” apparently resonated with a good number of the electorate. Andrej Babis, who is popularly referred to as the “Czech Donald Trump” because like the American President, he is a billionaire businessman, was sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister.
The gathering of nationalists has earned the ire of oppositionists who have made clear their intentions of disrupting the conference by demonstrating outside the venue, the Top Hotel in Chodov located seven miles from Prague.
Special security detail will be provided for Wilders courtesy of the Czech police. Wilders is the leader of the Freedom Party (PVV). He has been very vocal about his anti-Muslim sentiments and as a result has received multiple death threats.
Le Pen was the nationalist movement candidate who was beaten by globalist Emmanuel Macron in the recent French Presidential elections. She is the current leader of France’s Front National party and will join Wilders at the conference.
Another prominent nationalist is Janice Atkinson, a former Ukip Member of Parliament (MEP) who was expelled from the party after controversy regarding expenses. She is now an independent candidate with strong nationalist ideologies.
Marcus Pretzell who is the former MEP for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and his wife former party co-leader Frauke Petry are also expected to attend. Pretzell and Petry have left AfD and have formed a new nationalist group called the Blue Party.
Pretzell is proposing for Germany’s borders to be protected by armed forces from asylum seekers. He is an advocate of the anti-Islam Pegida movement.
Professor Lubomir Kopecek who is a political analyst at Masaryk University in Brno believes the conference will serve to increase the influence of Okamura in Czech local politics:
“The SPD has no great ideas in a European context, but this conference could of symbolic use to them in the Czech Republic because it allows them to say we have colleagues in Western Europe we can cooperate with and who have similar approaches.
“Okamura isn’t someone with a big vision for the transformation of Europe. He’s an entrepreneurial opportunist. For now, he says he’s xenophobic. But Czech public opinion moves, so will Tomio Okamura.”