Far right leaders in Europe admired US President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policy and promised to build a new Europe without any involvement of the EU as they assembled against Islam at a meeting in Prague.
“For a Europe of sovereign nations,” read the banner upheld by the Populist politicians from France, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK on Sunday.
The Czech Republic’s anti-Islam Freedom and Direct Democracy party, which won almost 11 percent of the vote in October, hosted the conference chaired by a Czech-Japanese politician, Tomio Okamura.
Members of the Freedom Party of Austria present at the Prague meeting, were lauded for having entered the country’s new coalition government.
Marine Le Pen, who lost on the French presidential election after reaching the final round of voting, said the development was “tremendous new for Europe.” These successes show that the nation states are the future, that the Europe of tomorrow is a Europe of the people,” she said.
One of the group’s major targets is to close Europe’s border to asylum-seeker.
“Because we like Europe, we say that the EU is going to kill her,” Le Pen said on Saturday, calling for supporters to help overthrow the union.
“None of us are xenophobic – we are opposed to the EU because we believe it is a catastrophically disastrous organisation.
“Migration is close to unbearable – our respective cultures are being destroyed.”
“We do like diversity but I like the Dutch to be Dutch, the Czechs to be Czech, I like the French to be French and I like the Italians to be Italians.”
Far-right politician, Geert Wilder, also targeted Muslims believing that the continent would be overrun by them and rejected Islam as “totalitarian ideology”.
“We must have the courage to have travel bans as President Trump has done in the United States,” he told delegates. “We must have the courage to send every boat with illegal immigrants back as Australia is doing for such a long time.”
Later, he commended the Czech Republic and the other Visegrad states as “heroes” for their defiance of EU refugee quotes.
“We want also to remain the masters of our own house,” he said.
This month, the Euopean Commission called the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over their mismanagement to accept their required share of refugees.
The Czech Republic has accepted only 12 out of 2,000 asylum seekers which was assigned.
“In the regional sense, the post-communist countries are particularly fragile and have always been, with the arrival with the now perceived danger from foreigners and Muslims,” Jan Culik, a lecturer in Czech studies at the University of Glasgow. “They have very little immunity to xenophobia and now the Czech Republic and Poland are among the worst in this regard.
“I would say it doesn’t bode well for those countries that it is happening in Prague.”
During the conference, almost 400 protestors gathered around for a peaceful demonstration against xenophobia.
They shouted “shame” and blew whistles to far-right supporters which made the security and the police to be on high alert at the compound.
“It is important to show people that we are against their actions and what they represent, with their racism and nationalism and hate against people,” Jan Matustik, a 22-year-old student.