Emigrants and the Czech Republic

 

Sir, – I read with interest “I am not an expat. I’m an Irish millennial economic migrant” (December 9th), an article by David Toms in which he recalls his brief experience residing in the Czech Republic.

His opinions do not mirror the reality for the vast majority of Irish citizens who have emigrated there, most of whom have lived here and contributed to the social fabric of the nation for a great deal longer than the writer’s brief sojourn.

The Czech Republic is an open, liberal democracy at the heart of Europe that embraces inward migration in line with the rule of law.

While it may not be as multicultural as other larger and wealthier countries, that is purely by reason of history.

I reject the assertion that migrants are unwelcome in the Czech Republic.

Its people are welcoming and take a traditionally pragmatic approach to help those most in need of shelter from war, and those who come seeking to make a valuable socio-economic contribution, as opposed to rushing into a chaotic free-for-all approach that is undermining security and freedom elsewhere in Europe.

Having emigrated to the Czech Republic myself three years ago, with my wife, who happens to be an ethnic minority from a predominantly Muslim country, we have experienced nothing but warmth, hospitality and success there.

Our experience of Prague is that it is a melting pot of cultures, welcoming people of all backgrounds, incomes and viewpoints. – Yours, etc,

PHILLIP RUSSELL,

President,

Czech-Irish Business

& Cultural Association,

Prague.