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Czech Premier Chides President for Spreading Xenophobia, Hatred

  • Sobotka says his party is upset by president's rally speech
  • Democratic president shouldn't act this way, premier says
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

Photographer: Martin Divsek/Bloomberg

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka unusually criticized President Milos Zeman for approving of the spread of hatred in its “most extreme” form by appearing at a rally of a “xenophobic sect” three days ago.

Sobotka, whose Social Democrats backed Zeman’s presidential bid in 2013, told Hospodarske Noviny in an interview on Friday that everyone within the party is “very upset” with the president for speaking at a Nov. 17 rally alongside two parties with strong anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views. Czechs held various public events that day to mark the start of 1989 Velvet Revolution that led to the fall of communism in the former Czechoslovakia.