Saturday

18th Nov 2017

Czech court bans far-right Workers Party

The Czech Republic's top court has banned a far-right political group, the first time a party has been banned in the country since its separation from Slovakia in 1993.

On Wednesday (17 February), the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) outlawed the Workers' Party, finding that it deployed racist, xenophobic, homophobic and anti-Semitic language and was a threat to Czech democracy.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Roma are frequently a target of the group (Photo: Planet Love)

The court agreed with the government, which originally filed the petition, noting its strong links to neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

The party, which rejects the accusation that it is a neo-Nazi group itself, has said it will appeal.

It is the second attempt by the government to have the party banned. Its first petition to the court in 2008 was dismissed.

Leader Tomas Vandas declared after the court's decision that even if an appeal is unsuccessful, the party will simply dissolve itself and reform under another name, such as the Affiliated Workers' Social Justice Party, he said.

The party is known for its boisterous anti-gypsy rallies that take place near Roma communities and which frequently end in violence.

In November, 2008, a force of some 1,000 riot police battled a 500-strong protest march by the party and its supporters in the town of Litvinov when the group attempted to descend upon a Roma suburb.

The party's youthful backers hurled petrol bombs and rocks at the police, injuring seven policemen. Seven demonstrators were also injured.

The group however, does not enjoy great electoral success, with only three local councillors and no nationally elected MPs.

In the European Parliament elections of June last year, the Workers' Party scored just 1 percent.

However, analysts believe the court's ruling sets a precedent for going after the country's Communist Party, which does enjoy popular support. In the elections to Strasbourg in 2009, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which sits with the European United Left (GUE) in the chamber, won 14 percent, the third largest share of votes in the poll.

MEPs put 'Article 7' against Poland on launch pad

MEPs urged Poland to comply with the EU treaties and to halt the 'reform' of the judiciary that could further undermine the rule of law in the country. Polish PM Beata Szydlo called the vote 'outrageous'.

Tying EU funds to politics could be double-edged

EU taxpayer money to countries challenging EU core values? The answer might seem obvious, but not to those on the receiving end of the EU subsidies, who argue that most of the money trickles back.

Investigation

The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals

Klaus Mangold, a German businessman with good connections in Russia, and who provided a jet for Commission vice-president Guenther Oettinger, played a crucial role in Hungary's controversial Paks nuclear deal with Russia, Direkt36's investigation has found.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse