Czech PM Sobotka highlights successes on May Day


01.05.2014 18:29

Prague - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, leader of the Social Democrats (CSSD), primarily highlighted the successes of his centre-left government on May Day today.


Premiér a předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři na oslavě 1. máje, ke které se sociální demokraté sešli na Střeleckém ostrově v Praze. ČTK Neliba Martin

He promised to lower the VAT on drugs as of next year and assured the public that the government supported the creation of new jobs.

Sobotka thanked voters for support and asked them to back the government also in the forthcoming European Parliament elections.

Appearing before a crowd of about 100, Sobotka also spoke about the 10th anniversary of the Czech Republic' EU membership.

"Stability and peace have never been as ensured as now," Sobotka said.

May Day was celebrated by most Czech parties.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis, leader of the ANO movement, called on Czechs to take part in the European elections.

Babis said despite the low popularity of the elections, the voters' participation was vital for the party.

Babis repeated that he was no politician, but only an outraged citizen who wanted to change politics.

Hundreds of Communists (KSCM) gathered at Prague's exhibition grounds. However, they were confronted by a group of their opponents with banners saying "Communists murdered more people than Nazis."

A speech was delivered by Communist deputy Marta Semelova who criticised capitalism that has been ruling in the country for almost 25 years, poverty and violence in the world.

"Profits are not sent to those who created and need them, but to the coffers of private, often foreign companies," Semelova said.

"This system cannot be embellished as some claim, this system must be changed," Semelova said.

The visitors included former last general secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) Milos Jakes.

Jakes, now 91, said the big business was still occupying politics so that it should serve its interests.

Followers of the opposition conservative TOP 09, headed by former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, met at the upper station of the Prague funicular, while those of the opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) at its lower station.

TOP 09 celebrated the day as the time of love. Its activists distributed hearts and party members staged an attempt at a kissing record.

The ODS candidates for European deputies symbolically threw an euro into the sewer. The ODS is sharply opposed to the Czech Republic's adopting the European currency.

ODS activists also staged a petition against the euro.

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