Friday, January 11, 2008

Immigration and Scandal in the Czech Republic

Yesterday our Czech correspondent Lugundum wrote about the Civic Democratic Party (Obcanská demokratická strana, or ODS), and the possibility that it might force the submission of the Treaty of Lisbon to a referendum in the Czech Republic.

Lugundum wrote me back this morning to clarify matters and elaborate on the role that ODS plays in Czech politics. He warns that no one should expect the party to act heroically with respect to the EU or any other important political issue:

Thanks for posting my notes and thanks for your hard work. However judging from the only reaction to that article I do worry that your readers and possibly even you misunderstood my message. I do worry that people believe that ODS (Civic Democrats) are ‘heroes’. They are not — they are chiefly villains. Please judge for yourselves:

a) The ODS/government strongly supports Turkey’s bid for EU membership. Recently Erdogan has visited Prague and been granted ‘full support’.

One of the staunchest supporters of this bid is Mr. Zahradil, the head of the ODS Euro-deputies. This gentleman is supposed to be the leader of the ‘Eurosceptic’ faction of ODS. Thank you very much, but I’m not buying it. My personal feeling from the ramblings he is posting on his website is that he is obsessed with a hatred against Christians.

b) ODS is responsible for the unprecedented mass immigration into the Czech Republic. For the first three quarters of the year 2007 almost 53,000 immigrants moved to the Czech Republic (net legal immigration — please note my stress on the fact that this a net number concerning only legal immigrants) according to the central statistics office. This is as twice as much as during the same period of the previous year (2006) and it means that the Czech Republic immigration rate is roughly twice as high as that of the USA, and equal to that of Canada. ODS ministers (particularly Mr. Necas, minister for social affairs) stated that CZ needs far more immigration, and that in the year 2008 we should expect far more immigrants. That could well make CZ into the country with the highest immigration rate in the world.

Statistics (Excel spreadsheet) for the first three quarters of the year 2006: 27,082 immigrants

Statistics (Excel spreadsheet) for the first three quarters of the year 2007: 52,376 immigrants
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ODS is disguising their stance by a ‘tough stand’ on immigration combating the ‘scam marriages’ (that affect roughly 200 people in the CZ). Please compare that number with 53,000 immigrants in 9 months of the previous year.

c) Let us take a closer look at the prime minister, Mr. Topolanek:

He cheated on his own wife (mother of three) with a female ODS deputy. She gave a birth to a son they named Nicolas. Please note that the Czech version of name Nicolas is ‘Mikuláš’ but they used English version of the name. This is extremely uncommon in the Czech Republic. After all even the Americans of German ancestry are naming their sons for example ‘John’ and not ‘Hans’. I personally believe that this expresses their low regard for the Czech people generally.

Another point: Mr. Topolanek himself slurred Czechs by his statement that Czechs “can s**t themselves” in certain situations:

Especially if the rubbing is done by their own prime minister. Mirek Topolanek, not known for shying away from a feisty phrase, said that most Czechs don’t agree with his view that they live in a time of relative wealth and prosperity, adding: “Czechs usually see everything negatively and when it comes to the crunch, they fill their trousers.”

A Czech nationalist party has filed a criminal complaint against Topolanek, arguing that they are not trouser-fillers, pointing out the many heroic deeds of the Czech nation.

And please see what the high-scale immigration scam looks like in the Czech Republic.

If they are missing workers they should offer higher salaries. It is quite normal in a healthy economy that entrepreneurs strive to find capable employees via higher salaries. If you are not a capable entrepreneur look for a different job you can do, and do not try to go into human trade business.

Please note how well the immigration stance of ODS correlates with the business interests’ obsession with cheap labor. This is the explanation why there is such immigration in the Czech Republic. But by importing people as a trade good and setting them against each other you are losing perspective for your society.

And the last aspect of the situation: you can read about the scandal of the previous Social Democratic prime minister who was involved in privatization of public companies in the Czech Republic during his reign.

I have a strange feeling that because of their handling of the immigration issue, ODS ministers will also be very rich persons in the not so distant future. A luxurious villa on Mauritius, anyone?

However, every cloud has a silver lining. There is a small party in the Czech Republic trying to walk the path of Sweden Democrats and Vlaams Belang, Národní strana or National Party in English.

Let us hope they will succeed.

10 comments:

kepiblanc said...

From the referenced article: Skoda, which is owned by VW, has used an employment agency to recruit several hundred workers from Vietnam, whom it regards as disciplined and attentive to detail.

A spokesman said: “We have a shortage of labour so we are using employment agencies to bring in staff. Vietnam is one of the areas we are bringing people from. We would rather find people close to home and it is a long way for them to come, but until we can find the right people nearer home this is what we will have to do.”


Says it all. Pretty much excludes Muslim immigration. So what's the problem, really? - We have lots of Asians (not in the English understanding of that word, mind you) in Scandinavia too. No problems at all. Hard working, polite, intelligent, civilized and nice people.

Spinoneone said...

The Czechs have the same problem the Germans do: a falling native population. Their economy is one of the fastest and most consistently growing in the EU, with automobiles and other medium industry sectors among the leaders. The Russians, Slovaks, and Ukranians don't have much difficulty learning the language, one of the most difficult in Europe for an English speaker. Most economies can't grow if the population to support the required workers doesn't grow apace. So, the only solution is more immigrants.

Avery Bullard said...

If economic growth is more important than anything else then the country is finished. One day Eastern Europeans may look back fondly on the Warsaw Pact days.

Avery Bullard said...

Pretty much excludes Muslim immigration. So what's the problem, really?

Being displaced by others in your country?

Whether those immigrants are hard working or not is irrelevant. They will have different long term interests from the indigenous population. John Howard recently lost his own seat in the Australian election because of Asian voters who wanted more immigration, multiculturalism, and fewer white conservatives in office.

It's only natural for minorities to use whatever means are at their disposal to enhance their own power and undermine that of the majority population. That will include working with other minorities, inclduing Muslims. Why create ethnic and social strife where none previously existed?

pela68 said...

"b) ODS is responsible for the unprecedented mass immigration into the Czech Republic. For the first three quarters of the year 2007 almost 53,000 immigrants moved to the Czech Republic (net legal immigration — please note my stress on the fact that this a net number concerning only legal immigrants) according to the central statistics office. This is as twice as much as during the same period of the previous year (2006) and it means that the Czech Republic immigration rate is roughly twice as high as that of the USA, and equal to that of Canada. ODS ministers (particularly Mr. Necas, minister for social affairs) stated that CZ needs far more immigration, and that in the year 2008 we should expect far more immigrants. That could well make CZ into the country with the highest immigration rate in the world."

Hmm. We here in Sweden is already accepting more than 100 000 (legal) immigrants per year, so you have some catching up to do!
Most of them muslims and almost all of them voting for the social democrates (who of course is the ones behind the generous immigration laws)...

Charlemagne said...

Avery I agree with you. Growth should not be a goal unto itself. If a country finds itself with a shortage of workers then the economy is fully employed and companies should, in my opinion, send the work to where the workers are rather than bring workers to the work. This serves the purposes of not upsetting demographic balances preferred by native populations and creating wealth in poorer countries with excess workers but a shortage of work. Why import Vietnamese workers when you can export work to Vietnam and enrich Vietnam in the process?

When US companies complain that they will have to send jobs to Mexico if they cannot bring Mexicans to the US my response is, "so what?". It is a preferred situation.

Growth requires an endless increase in population. At what point does this become a problem?

Anonymous said...

Anyhow, take a stand and support Free Europe by voting YES at www.FreeEurope.info!

Marian - CZ said...

Hi all,

as Kepi already mentioned, the immigration is almost exclusively non-Muslim. Most of the immigrants are Slovaks (about a half of that number), Ukrainians, Russians, then Bulgarians (all Slavic nations), then Vietnamese.

Immigrant Slovaks are usually highly-skilled young people, especially medicine doctors and engineers. They assimilate to the Czech society extremely quickly, within a few years; the closeness of the languages and the cultures helps a lot. Slovak migration to Czechia has been almost continuous for the last 90 years and it never had any significant negative impacts. To compare it, it is no more bothersome than Scottish immigration to England or, hypothetically, Canadian to Maine, USA.

Russians and Ukrainians have first settled in the country immediately after the Bolshevik revolution and the ensuing Civil War in Russia (1917-1922). Almost whole Russian nobility and intelligentsia had to flee from the Bolshevik rule, and a lot of them settled in Prague. Prague is the most Western big Slavic city, not only geographically, but also culturally: for at least a century, it has been a magnet for Slavic immigration from almost anywhere else.

In the last 15 years, three basic types of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants have come to the country: either low-paid menial job workers (who usually leave after some time), or highly skilled scientists (especially physicists; maybe a quarter of Prague's physicists are from the former USSR), and, third, very rich people who wanted to move their family out of the post-USSR chaos, or, later, from the Putin's grasp, to some secure country. The first group does not stay; the second assimilates very easily and quickly; the third is too small to change the cultural balance.

The Vietnamese immigrants are silent and extremely hardworking people, who usually own small businesses (groceries etc.). They do not have any inclination towards violent crime, though they perpetrate a lot of white-collar crimes like tax evasion. Their attitude towards hard work is archetypal, and it causes some consternation among the Czech population, which is usually more laid-back about work. The second generation Vietnamese usually speak perfect Czech and study very hard. I think that within 15 years, Czechia will have a significant growth of Vietnamese doctors, scientists and engineers.

Welfare payments are modest by EU standards, and so only people who wish to work here immigrate to Czechia. The assimilation process is very fast, since immigrants are mostly Slavic (thus the language is familiar to them), and the have to speak Czech in their jobs (Czechs are notoriously bad in speaking foreign languages). Overall, I can say that immigration has been a success in Czechia, similar to the success in the USA.

Myself, not a single of my 4 grandparents was a Czech, but I cannot even speak their languages and I am as much a Czech as you can get, except that I do not engage in any sort of binge-drinking.

Worker's immigration to Czechia has been in process at least till the 1820's, when the Czech lands industrialized rapidly. It brought an enormous influx of people from the rest of the monarchy: Germans, Slovaks, Poles, Jews, Hungarians, Croatians... The Jews were massacred by Nazis in WWII, the Germans were kicked out after the war, and the rest of the nationalities assimilated to the point that only their surnames point out a foreign origin. This even concerns a Greek immigration wave in the 1950s.

So far, I can say, this kind of immigration does not cause problems in Prague, which is by far the biggest recipient of the population transfer: the Czech beer culture will very quickly transform people into, if not Czechs, at least half-ones.

The biggest ethnic problems in Czechia, on the other hand, are not with recent immigrants, but with the Gypsies (Roma), who have been present in the Central European space for at least 500 years, but their primitive tribal culture produces high criminality and an almost total alienation from the mainstream population.

Felicie said...

"The second generation Vietnamese usually speak perfect Czech and study very hard. I think that within 15 years, Czechia will have a significant growth of Vietnamese doctors, scientists and engineers."

As much as I like Asians and the Asian civilization, I think that bringing a large number people of another race and belonging to a totally different civilization to a country is a big mistake. When there is a sufficient number of them, they will stop being "silent" - mark my words. (I am not against small numbers). I think that each country should strive to maintain its ethnic and cultural identity, which means that its immigration laws should differentiate between different groups of immigrants.

War Lord said...

"Why import Vietnamese workers when you can export work to Vietnam and enrich Vietnam in the process?"

You don't know that it is even more absurd than it looks. CZECH REPUBLIC IMPORTS ASIAN WORKERS BECAUSE OF THE NEED OF CHEAP LABOR FORCE IN ASIAN COMPANIES SITUATED IN CZECH REPUBLIC. It was often Asian employees, who explicitly complained that they needed "more (cheap) workers" and demanded their import from Asia.

Felicie is absolutely right: The Czech ruling elites naively brag that with the import of Vietnamese and Mongols, they will avoid all interethnic problems haunting the former Western Europe, pointing at the educational and societal success of the Vietnamese community. They don't realize that groups with different physical appearance can never fully assimilate and they will simply never become true Czechs. How could Asians become Czechs, when even European nations (Slovaks/Magyars, Flemings/Valoons) can't live together peacefully? Soon or later it will lead to conflicts anyway, especially considering the high presence of Vietnamese at Czech high schools and universities. Several years ago, a group of Czech parents unsuccessfully protested against the admission of Vietnamese students at the high school in Cheb (a town with the highest % of Vietnamese in the country), who got there at the expense of their kids. Imagine, where such quarrels will lead us in the future, on a larger scale.

And I should even add that our Czech government plans to import about 45 000 Vietnamese this year - the same number that has accumulated in our country until 2007.