Petr Mach is a member of the European Parliament and the leader of the Party for Free Citizens. Formed in 2009 by Mach, it is a classical liberal and right libertarian Eurosceptic (meaning wanting to leave the European Union) political party in the Czech Republic. Mach holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Economics, Prague and is a former professor. Also, he is the former chairman of the Young Conservatives, the Civic Democratic Party’s youth wing.
This week, an interview was conducted to gain an inside perspective of how Europeans are reacting to the election of Donald Trump and the recent changes made, including the travel ban. Mach believes that Europe should enforce a similar ban and build fences at its borders. He stated that some countries in the EU have fences built on their borders, but millions of migrants still make their way in illegally. “The European Union has issued an executive order to redistribute migrants to individual EU countries, however the Czech Republic and other Central European countries ignore this order. We have many migrants from Ukraine and Vietnam in the Czech Republic without any problem, and people here are very tolerant to foreigners. But we don’t want to import Islamist terrorism and various problems associated with Middle East culture to our country,” Mach stated.
When asked what it was like to experience the American election from Europe, he said to bet on the victory of Trump. Mach discussed his views toward former President Obama and what he thinks would have happened if Hillary Clinton had been elected. “I and many people in Europe see Obama’s administration responsible for the 2011 intervention in Libya, which toppled their dictator but gave way to chaos, the growth of Islamic State in Libya and the surge of migrants to Europe. If Clinton won, this catastrophic interventionist policy could go on. Many people were happy to see Trump defeat Clinton,” Mach said.
Mach believes that no candidate is perfect for the job but wishes success for President Trump and hopes that he can help America in areas where improvement is needed.
See below the full interview:
Q: Do you believe that relationships between the United States and European countries will change? If so, how? Are there any specific countries that support President Trump more than others?
Mach: First, if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it means that the UK will be able to negotiate its own free trade deal with the United States and to have its own friendly relations with the U.S. We can observe that friendly attitudes towards the United States in general and to Trump administration specifically prevail also in Central Europe – in countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland… Less friendly attitudes are in Western Europe, in countries like Germany, France where many people and politicians resent the U.S., and particularly Trump.
Q: What are you most worried about changing in the next four years?
Mach: The European Union was not able to protect its borders from migration and many terrorist attacks have been there by Muslim migrants or by their children raised in Europe. The European Union instead of protecting borders collects migrants at African coastline and takes them to Europe. There are million illegal migrants only in Germany and many of them sympathize with the Islamic State.
Q: What do you think is the biggest issue the United States has or needs to address currently from a European perspective?
Mach: I hope the U.S. will be able to free its economy from overregulation and taxation to become a healthy and fast-growing economy once again.
I also hope that the United States reconsiders its interventionist foreign policy. Recent interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya proved to be a big failure with terrible consequences. It is always better to protect your own borders than to try to change regimes all over the world.
Q: Do you believe that your country has changed either physically, emotionally or mentally due to the recent election of President Trump?
Mach: I don’t think so. There are similar political divides in all countries of our Western civilization. Everywhere there is left and right. On the one hand, there are people who believe in more government, in elites, in various interventions, in social utopias and supranational government, and on the other hand there are people who believe in less government, in economic freedom, and in common sense of ordinary people. Any single candidate is never perfect. Nor Trump is perfect. But there is some hope that his administration will make America a better country. I wish him success.