Prague - Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko said at a conference dedicated to the fight against growing extremist ideologies in Prague on Tuesday that the democratic deficit provided a fertile ground for extremist ideologies and that only democratic solutions were the right way.
Speaking at the closing part of the international forum "Let my people live!", organised by the European Jewish Congress, the Czech government and the European Parliament, Leko said that the weakening of citizens' trust in politics, democracy and its institutions and politicians in general was also due to the economic crisis.
- It is precisely the democratic deficit that provides a fertile ground for extremist ideas and theories, and the search for democratic solutions is the only way to contribute to the weakening of extremist political ideas and ideologies in today's world, he said. Leko called for respecting the EU's common values such as understanding, political and religious tolerance, and unity in diversity.
Anything else would be restriction of human rights and freedoms and would foster radical ideas, said Leko. Parliaments should propose solutions based on principles that are equal for all people, but they must also be aware of their responsibility for applying those principles consistently, he warned.
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev quoted former Israeli President Shimon Peres as saying that a global economic crisis was better than a global moral disaster and disgrace. He recalled that Bulgaria had managed to save its entire Jewish community from Nazi persecution, but that Jews in former Yugoslavia or Greece were not that fortunate.
Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek recalled that Turkey had accepted Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century and at the time of Nazism, noting that all extremist ideologies grew from the same soil. It is impossible to eradicate them individually if we do not dry out the swamp they grow in, he said. (Hina)