Friday, 18 April 2014

Právo: Klaus's presidential speech tedious, untrustworthy

3 January 2013

Václav Klaus's speech was full of discrepancies which made it tedious and untrustworthy at the same time, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in yesterday's issue of daily Právo.

Prague, Jan 2 (CTK) - Vaclav Klaus's last speech in his capacity as Czech president was full of discrepancies which made it tedious and untrustworthy at the same time, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo yesterday.

At the very beginning, Klaus surprised listeners by calling for "the so much needed togetherness of citizens," a wish that was embarrassing when voiced by Klaus, who has always divided society by his clear-cut positions, Mitrofanov writes.

Klaus's warning against "various instigators of bad moods and bigheaded self-appointed saviours," whom he described as a threat without elaborating, reminded of the vocabulary of the period of normalisation when communist hardliners ruled the country in the 1970s and 1980s, Mitrofanov writes.

The same words, without the slightest change, could have been pronounced within a speech of the then communist president Gustav Husak, Mitrofanov adds.

Klaus's speech also contained "positive propaganda," which he unfortunately left without elaboration as well. He said the Czech Republic's economy rose by about one-third in the past decade, which is more than the long-term historical average.

However, he said nothing on how the wealth has been divided among Czechs, or rather among those in power, though it is just the way of governing that has caused tension to escalate in the country, Mitrofanov writes.

Klaus, nevertheless, offered a different explanation. He said the causes behind recent economic stagnation are people's way of thinking, their lost respect for honest work, a deep decline in respect, culture and behaviour of both Czech people and the surrounding world, in people's uncritical admiration for superficiality, bombast and spectacular gestures, and in their lost courage to call these phenomena their correct names, Mitrofanov writes.

A similar sort of argument is Klaus's explanation that the countries where economies are growing more quickly than the Czech, which he has for some time been praising as a positive example, owe their results to "people still working hard," Mitrofanov writes.

It is typical of Klaus to say this without mentioning the conditions of the hard work of people in China, for example, Mitrofanov writes.

How can be a praise of honest work trusted if pronounced by Klaus, who on the Czech scene introduced the philosophy saying that every profit-making activity is good, including various speculations? Mitrofanov asks.

Klaus's appeal for more culture in people's behaviour can be hardly followed by people in a situation where they remember the video that showed Klaus secretly pocketing a ceremonial pen during a press conference with his counterpart in Chile, Mitrofanov says.

Klaus's recipe for solving problems is that people should return to the old, good values, traditions, habits and also duties. Everyone can start doing so him/herself, Klaus said, probably not distinguishing between the unemployed and millionnaires, Mitrofanov writes.

However, for such a speech to be trustworthy, it would have to be given by someone else than Klaus, Mitrofanov says.

The fall of Klaus's presidential curtain is more boring than expected, he adds, alluding to the nearing end of Klaus's second and last presidential term, which expires on March 7.

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