Friday, 25 April 2014

Schwarzenberg says foreign politicians regret his defeat in polls

4 February 2013

Munich, Feb 2 (CTK) - Foreign politicians at the security conference in Munich have expressed regret at Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg not having been elected Czech president last month, Schwarzenberg, who attends the conference, told CTK Saturday.

He said the politicians' words must be understood as pronounced out of politeness.

The Munich conference is the first international meeting Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) attends after the Czech presidential election run-off in which he lost to former social democrat prime minister Milos Zeman.

He said he did not hear any negative reactions in Munich to the anti-German tone of the Czech election campaign. The German partners know well that utterances made within a pre-election struggle do not play a big role, he said.

"Besides, I'm convinced that the future president, Zeman, will immediately set out for a trip to clarify, let's say, the misunderstandings," Schwarzenberg added.

In the election, Schwarzenberg was massively supported by Czech expatriates and he was also preferred by the German-language press.

"Any praise pleases me," Schwarzenberg said. "When all [Czechs] who live abroad voted for me and if they know European and international politics better than we at home, it filled me with joy, of course," Schwarzenberg, 75, said.

German and Austrian dailies sharply criticised Schwarzenberg's election rival Zeman for what they called a nationalist campaign he led against Schwarzenberg, attacking the latter's condemnation of the post-war transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia and his disapproval of the steps that the then president Edvard Benes took in relation to the German minority.

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