Tuesday

19th Nov 2019

Le Pen to meet allies in Prague

  • Marine Le Pen will meet like-minded politicians in Prague next week (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen will be in Prague next Wednesday (6 May) to hold a speech at a conference titled “Peace and Prosperity Beyond EU” and, more importantly, to meet her allies from across Europe.

The main host of the one-day meeting is a Czech non-parliamentarian party OKS (Civic Conservative Party) which has officially established itself as an exclusive partner of the French Front National (FN) in the Czech Republic.

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A second host is one MP, a former member of a populist party Dawn and non-attached now. This means the meeting can take place in the Czech parliament.

Apart from discussing the prosperity of European states after the wished-for collapse of the EU, the event is set to boost Marine Le Pen's network.

Representatives from six to eight political parties from other EU members states are to present themselves in Prague, said both Radim Fiala, the Czech MP, and Jiri Janecek, the leader of OKS party.

“The leaders of both current allies of Marine Le Pen and possibly new partners should be here,” Fiala told this website but declined to give the names of the parties.

“We have roughly twenty foreign guests, but nobody from Russia. We wanted to keep it EU-related," said Janecek.

When asked if Hans-Christian Strache of Austria's far-right FPOe was on the list of those invited and whether he has confirmed, Janacek said only: “Wait until 6 May."

Past get-togethers indicate what Wednesday's gathering could look like.

Strache, Wilders, Philipe Claeys of Belgium's Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang, Janecek himself as well as Italian and Bulgarian party leaders all attended the national congress of the National Front (FN) - Le Pen's party - last November in Lyon.

The National Front's alliance with the OKS party is attracting much attention in the Czech Republic, with the main question being about what the French party sees in the minor Czech party.

OKS was established in February last year - it scored 0.14 percent of the vote in a municipal election in Prague in autumn.

There has been much speculation about Russian money and interest behind the alliance.

Janecek is known as a fervent critic of post-Maidan Ukraine and an admirer of Russia.

Meanwhile the First Czech-Russian Bank, which has a base in Moscow but a subsidiary in Prague, recently lent €9 million to the National Front.

The general conclusion among commentators is that it would be useful for Le Pen to have somebody in Prague to deal with the bank.

Jiri Janecek of OKS denied this connection.

“No Russian money, no loan involved. I haven’t been asked to do any service and I would have refused it outright if that was the case,” he says, adding that their alliance is purely ideological. “I agree with the National Front and they like our programme."

Ludovic de Danne, an advisor to Le Pen and the one in charge of the FN's foreign relations, wasn’t available for comment on the nature of ties with the Czech party.

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