PRAGUE – The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM) called on the Czech government to call off the NATO summit due to be held in Prague in November and spend the $560 million on helping the victims of this week’s catastrophic floods. At the same time, the CPBM announced it was donating $30,000 to help flood victims and also opening a flood relief fund.

Party vice chair and Member of Parliament Miloslav Ransdorf told journalists that official estimates of the damage caused by the flood were too low. Reports from the CPBM’s regional and district organizations suggested that the real cost would be nearer $2.8 billion.

School teacher Marta Semelova, chair of the Party’s Prague Council, paid tribute to the city’s firefighters and volunteers who had shown their solidarity by coming to the aid of the victims and the city during its worst flooding in over 150 years. She described the right-wing Prague Lord Mayor’s statement on August 10 that the floods would be a good opportunity to test the city’s preparations for November’s NATO summit as “very cynical.”