Friday, 25 April 2014

SL leader Posselt says Schwarzenberg moral winner of Czech polls

4 February 2013

Munich, Feb 1 (CTK) - Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Foreign Minister and unsuccessful candidate for president is the direct election's moral winner, Sudeten German Landsmannschaft (SL) leader Bernd Posselt writes in the weekly Sudetendeutsche Zeitung.

He praises Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) for the courage with which he commented on unpopular issues linked to Czech-German history, and he dismisses the speculation that Schwarzenberg has served to foreign interests.

"Schwarzenberg was not only very successful in the Czech presidential election - he gained almost 46 percent of the vote, compared to the eight percent predicted by pre-election public opinion polls, in spite of the extremely brutal campaign led by his opponents - but he also emerged as the moral winner from the duel," Posselt writes.

"In a few of key TV debates, Schwarzenberg spoke, with a great courage and impressively, about the expulsion [of ethnic Germans from post-war Czechoslovakia] as a blatant violation of human rights, about the devastating idea of collective guilt and about the fact that the Benes government would probably end up before The Hague court Friday," Posselt writes.

Schwarzenberg's statements on the post-war developments in Czechoslovakia and the then president Edvard Benes were sharply criticised by his rival in the presidential race, former socialist PM Milos Zeman, and by outgoing President Vaclav Klaus.

Zeman eventually won the election, defeating Schwarzenberg in the run-off vote last weekend.

Posselt emphasised that the young generation of Czechs accepted Schwarzenberg's views.

"By his sovereign openness and firmness of stands, Schwarzenberg changed his country, for some time at least. He changed it much more than he could achieve as [Czech] president, whose powers are not much stronger than German president's," writes Posselt, spokesman for the ethnic Germans who were transferred from Czechoslovakia, mainly its border regions, (Sudetenland) after the war.

Posselt, who is an MEP for the Bavarian CSU, resolutely dismissed that Schwarzenberg would serve "foreign interests, as the Klaus family alleged in their awkward, close-to-racist attacks."

"On the contrary, he acted as a Czech patriot and convinced European who embarked on the path towards a better Czech future, which is also a better central European future for us," Posselt writes.

He expressed respect to President-Elect Zeman and wrote he is ready to cooperate on building good Czech-German and Czech-Sudeten German relations unburdened with prejudices.

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