Milos Zemen

Czech election latest: Vote to spell trouble for Eurozone

Milos ZemenGETTY

Milos Zemen is the favourite to win the Czech election

It is unlikely that any candidate will win the presidential election outright, but it is predicted that front-runner Milos Zemen will win a second term in a run-off in two weeks time.

The Czech President wields little legislative power but it is still an influential office in the country, industry expert Max Schwerdtfeger warned.

The election is signifiant for the EU because the country is a member of the Visegrad Group (V4) – a bloc of four countries that includes Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

The V4 has opposed the EU on key issues such as the refugee crisis, where they have refused to accept relocation quotas.

The EU has begun legal action against the bloc over the stand-off.

Mr Zemen is said to be critical of EU policy and has cited fears of terror attacks if they accept the bloc’s stance on refugees.

He has even drawn comparisons with US President Donald Trump.

Mr Zemen also opposes the EU’s Russia stance and wants to cut sanctions on the Kremlin.

Putin and ZemenGETTY

Milos Zemen is said to be in favour of improving relations with Russia

He was formerly a key supporter of European integration, but claims that EU membership has not lived up to what Czechs expected.

The rest of the V4 countries have also tried pushing the EU towards better co-operation with Russia and Central Asia.

Brussels is reportedly nervous that Russia is influencing the Czech election through online disinformation.

Moscow has already been accused of meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Election and the Brexit referendum in the UK.

Mr Zemen’s victory would be perceived as a toughening of an anti-establishment sentiment in the V4 countries.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis holds many of the same views as the presidential front-runner.

Mr Babis was only elected last November but is facing a note of no confidence over fraud allegations.

If he loses the case he could still stay in office if the President permits it.

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