Saturday, 19 April 2014

Slovak president visits Prague

ČTK |
11 December 2012

Bratislava, Dec 10 (CTK) - Czech-Slovak relations are not hampered by any painful and unsolved issues, the two countries' presidents, Vaclav Klaus and Ivan Gasparovic, respectively, agreed yesterday and pointed out that 20 years will have passed since the split of Czechoslovakia at the year's end.

Gasparovic also praised his personal relations with Klaus who will pay a visit to Bratislava before his second and last term expires on March 7, 2013.

Klaus said the end of the Czechoslovak federation economically benefited Slovakia more than the Czech Republic.

He also said the Slovak society is not harmed by "nonpolitical politics" so much as the Czech.

The notion "nonpolitical politics" was coined by Klaus's predecessor and rival Vaclav Havel.

Gasparovic said he is pleased that the excellent mutual relations are not only mentioned by politicians, but also by citizens in the two countries.

Klaus said the Slovak economy is now growing and is not in crisis unlike Europe and the Czech Republic.

He pointed out that Czech GDP per capita has risen by 50 percent while Slovakia's by 100 percent since Czechoslovakia split [into the Czech and Slovak republics 20 years ago].

Gasparovic said Slovakia had to carry out reforms, it needed foreign investors, and now it must deal with its problems in the European context.

"In Slovakia politics has never been so broken like in this country. The attacks by the so-called nonpolitical politics have harmed the Czech Republic much more," Klaus said.

He said Slovakia has not experienced "such a decline in respect for any authorities" like the Czech Republic.

Klaus and Gasparovic also spoke about the forthocming direct presidential election in the Czech Republic at the request of journalists.

Slovakia already has experience with the direct election while the Czechs will be choosing their next president for the first time in January.

Klaus repeated his opinion that he does not consider the plebiscite of any good because the next head of state will in fact be chosen by the media, not voters.

Gasparovic, who defended his mandate in a direct election three years ago, said voters do not only seek advise in the media, but they also make their choice according to their experience with particular politicians.

He said the rightist media painted him as the "wicked president," and yet he won with a big lead on his rivals.

Klaus reacted saying Gasparovic must defend the method thanks to which he was elected.

Klaus said he has visited Slovakia 12 times since he became president in 2003.

"This is more than one (visit) a year. The same is true of President Gasparovic's (visits to) this country. This demonstrates the closeness of our personal views and relations and mainly the closeness of our nations," Klaus said.

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