Czech president's spokesman likens EU to Third Reich in outburst over food safety

By REUTERS
September 28, 2017 21:42
1 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

PRAGUE - The Czech president's spokesman likened the European Union to the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler on Thursday while criticising the bloc's executive over a regulation on food safety.

Jiri Ovcacek made the comment while citing the case of an ingredient in a Czech potato-based alcohol locally known as "rum" that cannot be labelled that way due to an EU ban which says the term must be reserved for cane-based spirits.

The EU's food watchdog, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has ruled that the ingredient, called rum-ether, should be discontinued and replaced gradually from April 2018 on the grounds that it contains a material that can damage body cells.

Ovcacek shared an article from a Czech news website on his Facebook page on the issue, adding the comment: "The Empire has decided that there will be no 'tuzemak' (Czech rum) to drink in the protectorate."

"Empire" in the Czech context is often understood to refer to Hitler's Third Reich, while the "protectorate" is what the country was called by the Nazi regime during World War Two.

When asked about the comment, Ovcacek said his words were warranted because such actions by some in the EU damaged its reputation.

"It points to the absolute insensibility of the European Commission," Ovcacek said.

Ovcacek's comments have led to controversy before, such as his outbursts against Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and some of his ministers, and even against the Czech media.

Czech President Milos Zeman has portrayed himself as a Europhile and fan of a federal EU. But he has also expressed pro-Russian and anti-immigration views and built up relations with China, in contrast to the pro-Western and human rights-based style of Czech foreign policy established by the late President Vaclav Havel.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 14, 2018
Missing boy near Hayarkon Park

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF