Sunday, 20 April 2014

President criticises EU in New Year's speech

2 January 2013

Prague, Jan 1 (CTK) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus reviewed the past ten years in office, criticised the European Union and called for a return to the traditional values and national togetherness, in his last New Year's speech yesterday.

He also declared a partial amnesty on the 20th anniversary of the independent Czech Republic.

Klaus said the Czech economy has markedly grown in the past ten years.

"In spite of all problems that are accompanying us, we are not experiencing any catastrophe," Klaus said.

He, however, warned about certain personalities or movements who are trying to heighten the lack of peace in society and challenge democracy at the time of recession.

"We have been marking time for several years, however, which people can feel and some instigators of bad moods and bigheaded self-appointed saviours are trying to exploit this for their own gaols," Klaus said.

He said these people do not aim at improving citizens' life.

Klaus said the turbulences on the political scene are one of the sources of citizens' dissatisfaction.

He said this was shown "among others by the last pre-Christams week."

The centre-right government coalition was again shaken before Christmas when Karolina Peake (LIDEM) was appointed defence minister, but Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) proposed to Klaus a few days later to dismiss her.

Necas justified his proposal saying he lost trust in Peake. Klaus complied with his prposal and LIDEM threatened with leaving the coalition, which would probably mean an end to the government.

Peake has, however, started to mitigate her statements and a decision on LIDEM's continuing in the government is to be made later this month.

Klaus said the Czech economy is slowed down by many regulations that both Czechs themselves and the EU are creating.

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