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LN: Forejt unlikely to be Czech ambassador to Vatican

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Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – Jindrich Forejt, who left the post of Presidential Office protocol head last week, is very unlikely to become Czech ambassador to the Vatican, even though President Milos Zeman still wishes him to fill the post, Martin Rychlik writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) on Monday.

Forejt, 39, officially resigned from the post for health and personal reasons, but according to the media, the Presidential Office sealed his office after a compromising video recording allegedly featuring him was released.

During his audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican last year, Zeman presented Forejt as the future ambassador, for which many diplomats criticised him.

Zeman spoke of new ambassadors publicly even before their approval by the receiving country in the past already. Forejt said previously it was his dream to be the ambassador to the Vatican.

The Vatican is not going to let anybody impose an ambassador on it, especially if it is somebody like Forejt who had a scandal and who used a university degree though he did not complete his studies, Rychlik writes.

He says there was a much similar case in France.

In January 2015, France nominated Laurent Stefanini to the post of French ambassador to the Vatican. Stefanini was the protocol head of the French Presidential Office from 2010 and Francois Hollande, who became president in 2012, promoted his planned diplomatic career. France submitted Stefanini’s nomination for ambassador in January 2015, Rychlik writes.

But three months passed and there was no reaction from the Vatican. Finally, a French weekly magazine reported that Pope Francis met Stefanini and told him “No,” Rychlik writes.

He says the French media started to sharply criticise the Vatican for discriminating against homosexuals as Stefanini made no secret of the fact that he is a gay, but the Vatican did not comment on its position at all and the French pressure stopped after several months. Hollande had to reconcile with this, although Stefanini was a Catholic who was supported by the Paris archbishop.

A diplomatic source told HN that the Vatican considered unacceptable the public pressure from France rather than Stefanini’s homosexuality, Rychlik writes.

One can hardly imagine the Pope giving in to the wish that Zeman voiced in public. Forejt’s dream has ended, Rychlik says.

Weekly Respekt wrote on Monday that a group around Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynar has got rid of an influential person who did not belong to it, or Forejt, and replaced him with an employee of the Chinese firm CEFC, Miroslav Sklenar.

People around Zeman seem to do their utmost to create the impression that they profit from Forejt’s scandal. They did not even try to explain the issue and dispel the fears that the drug dealers who offered the compromising video to the Czech media are just figures playing in somebody else’s game. Zeman’s insistence on that Forejt deserves to see his ambassadorial dream to come true looks like an effort to win Forejt’s loyalty and buy his silence, Respekt writes.

The idea that drug dealers would offer the media a compromising video of their client who owed money to them makes no sense. It is hardly possible that the dealers would risk police prosecution for their criminal activities, Respekt writes.

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