Zeman says Czechs are not much serious about EU, which is mistake


23.05.2014 17:35

Prague - People are not much serious about the EU and they do not realise that most laws the Czech Republic passes come from Brussels, President Milos Zeman said after he cast his vote in the European Parliament (EP) election today.


Prezident Miloš Zeman odevzdal 23. května v Praze svůj hlas ve volbách do Evropského parlamentu. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

He blamed the situation mainly on journalists who, he said, do not carry relevant information, and also on politicians.

"(People) are not much serious about the EU and they mistakenly believe that it does not concern them. However, up to 80 percent of laws that are passed in this country come from the EU," Zeman said.

He said that is why turnout in the European voting is low in the Czech Republic compared with other EU countries.

Zeman said he would like participation in domestic elections to be compulsory, but this should not apply to the European elections.

Zeman, together with his wife Ivana, cast his vote after he returned from a state visit to Romania and Moldova.

Before he voted, Zeman dismissed the opinion of some that 21 mandates the Czech Republic has in the EP is not sufficient to attain much in it.

"The problem is that forces of the two strongest blocs (in the EP), Social Democracy and the Christian Democrats, have as yet been roughly in equilibrium. This would allow the 21 deputies, if they were united in their actions, to quite successfully defend Czech national interests. That is why people should participate in the European elections," Zeman told Czech journalists at the airport in Chisinau, from where he returned today.

The Czechs started to choose their 21 MEPs this afternoon. The elections will end at 14:00 CEST on Saturday. The results will be released late at night on Sunday.

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