Leading candidates of the nine parliamentary parties met in a pre-election debate organised by the Association for International Affairs, Aktuálně.cz and EURACTIV.cz. Despite the controversial rhetoric of ANO chief and PM Andrej Babiš, ANO MEP Dita Charanzová said her party wanted to remain in ALDE or join another liberal platform established on ALDE’s foundations.
According to the diplomat, ANO and ALDE agree on the most important issues such as the protection of the Schengen area and the free market. There are two other groupings that aspire to join the liberals – the HLAS movement established by EP vice-president Pavel Telička and the Czech Pirates Party, who might embrace the Greens instead.
Babiš often criticises the EU. In an interview for EURACTIV’s partner Hospodářské noviny, he said he had to protect the Czech Republic against the “EU’s nonsense” but he also rejects a coalition with Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán. (Aneta Zachová, EURACTIV.cz)