Pavel Burian posts - Czech Points

Pavel Burian

June 24, 2019 Politics

Anti-Babis protest makes headlines worldwide

Anti-Babis protest makes headlines worldwide - Czech Points

Sunday’s massive demonstration at Prague’s Letná Plain has reached the news service of all the world’s news agencies and leading information servers. The media draw attention to the extraordinary extent of the protest, the largest one since 1989, and report on the case of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, which brought hundreds of thousands of people to Prague.

“The Czechs went to the streets in the biggest protest since Communism,” theAmerican agency Bloomberg wrote at the beginning of her report entitled “The Billionaire Prime Minister Launched the Most Protest in Prague in 1989″. The agency said that many protesters arrived in Prague from the farthest ends of the country with flags of the Czech Republic and the European Union and with the banners “resign”.

CNN, the American station, has also devoted itself to protests in Letná. In line with other world media, she marked the demonstration as “greatest since the fall of communism”. CNN reporters recalled that the prime minister is dubbed “Czech Trump” in the press , pointing to his alleged collaboration with the secret police StB, whose records he should appear as agent Bures.

Western media reminded Babiš’s ties to the StB

CNN also imprinted Babiš’s reaction to the protests, and the prime minister said he “respects people’s right to have their own opinion,” but “does not understand why protests take place”.   ” It is unacceptable for us to have a StB agent 29 years after the Velvet Revolution. We will not pretend to be normal, we demand his resignation, ” the demonstrators quoted the CNN organizers.

The Telegraph of Britain has focused on the fact that the Czech Prime Minister is in a conflict of interest, and that this week Babiš’s government is waiting for a vote of no confidence. “ The main difference between 1989 and today is that we do not protest against the system, but for it, to protect democracy. The message to Babis is clear: Citizens are watching you, they care about the republic, ” Benjamin Roll, the co-organizer of the protests , quoted. The British media, instead of the nickname “Czech Trump”, writes about the prime minister as “Babishconi”, which is an allegiance to Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi .

The Guardian also mentioned Havel’s slogans that filled Letna: “Truth and love must prevail.” This is a clear reference to the philosophy of the first Czech President Vaclav Havel : “Truth and love will prevail over lies and hatred.”

“I was here with my son on my shoulders in 1980,” said Martin Exner (56), mayor of Nova Ves, who helped to print samizdat literature before the Velvet Revolution. “Back then we were naive, we didn’t finish what we started. We should have forced the chief Communist apparatus to be punished, ”says Exner.

“With Havel, it all seemed fine. But since then we have gone in a different direction, so now we are here to complete the Velvet Revolution, ” added Exner. The Guardian also brought the words of the Czech political scientist Lubomír Kopeček. “When you look at it, Babis has many political problems, not just demonstrations. We will see the impact of these problems in seven eight months, maybe we will see a resignation, maybe a fall of the government,” Kopeček suggested.

An impressive protest: A quarter million people gathered at Letná

All leading Slovak media are informing about the demonstration in Prague. For example, the Joj private television portal, as well as the newspaper Hospodářské noviny from the Mafra group on its website, brought live video of the protest event.

Sme, who also kept up-to-date on the demonstration on his main website, wrote that Prague probably had the biggest protest since the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989. News portal, like other media, published an estimate of the organizers of the protest that about a quarter million people came. He also reminded Babis that he did not understand what people were demonstrating.

Reuters wrote that the Letna protest is a culmination of a series of demonstrations against Babis and, like all the past, was peaceful. “Our leaders need to be very urgently reminded that our country does not belong to it, that it is not above the law and that there are still enough people whose brains have not been hated by hate propaganda,” the Brno protester told Reuters. Politicians were not invited to the demonstration, the agency said.

According to Reuters, a quarter-million figure on the number of demonstrators cannot be verified. The agency said Babis, a billionaire entrepreneur who has turned into politics, is sometimes compared to US President Donald Trump

“Demonstrators regard the populist billionaire as a threat to democracy and to the independence of the country’s legal system,” the US agency said. “They are demanding the resignation of the new Babis Minister of Justice,” she added. Information about the Prague demonstration appeared on the information servers of San Francisco, Houston, Dayton, Saint Louis and other American cities.

Germany: Babis returned power to the Communists

The massive crowd demanding Babiš’s resignation flooded the center of Prague, the RTL German television described the Letná demonstration, which called the Czech Republic a “country of corruption” in its web news She stated that  Babis was the first prime minister since the fall of communism, which allowed the Communists to play a role in governance.

German station Deutsche Welle and other media have pointed out that the protest took place only a few days before the parliamentary vote on the distrust of Babis’ government. ” It just was enough,” a protester Caroline from South Bohemia told a German radio station. According to Radio Free Europe reporter Hannah Kaviani, Prague tram drivers also supported the ringtones.

Foreign media alike point out the extraordinary number of people gathered in Prague. The AFP agency said the protest at Letna was “impressive.” “Since the protests in 1989, Prague has seen nothing like that,” said The New York Times. “It’s interesting, but at the same time shameful, that our political situation is such that something like that must happen,” quoted New York’s representative of the demonstration organizer Benjamin Rolle.


The Russian media also recorded Prague protest from the Caucasus to St. Petersburg, and information also appeared in the occupied Ukrainian Crimea. The Russian servers say the demonstration was convened in place of major protests thirty years ago, which led to the collapse of the communist regime.

Referring to its on-the-spot rapporteur, TASS wrote that representatives of right-wing political parties, members of opposition parliamentary factions, public and cultural officials and students have taken part in the protest. She said that Prime Minister Babis is supported by President Milos Zeman