Meet Tomio Okamura, the Czech Republic’s answer to Nigel Farage

For a brief period during last month’s Czech election campaign it seemed like the country was heading toward a Czexit referendum. Prime Minister Andrej Babis was desperately looking for a coalition partner and the Eurosceptic Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party had insisted on a referendum as part of any deal. In the end, the Czech PM couldn’t scrape together a majority, meaning a pro-EU coalition will take over this month. But it was still nothing short of remarkable for the country to come so close to holding a referendum on its EU membership. The leader of the SPD, Tomio Okamura, was the key figure behind this push for an

Czexit could be closer than we think

Is Czexit closer than we think? Ahead of the Czech general elections in October, the rise of an anti-EU party as a potential kingmaker is making a referendum on EU membership a distinct possibility. ‘No to EU dictates,’ ‘Freedom to think, speak and breathe,‘ ‘Lockdown is not a solution,’ read election posters plastered around Prague by the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party. This hard-line anti-EU, anti-immigration, anti-lockdown and vaccine-sceptic movement – which is currently polling at around 12 per cent – may hold the key to power for the ruling ANO party after a hotly contested election campaign. The Czech electoral landscape has turned on its head since