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MfD: President Zeman must pay for smoking in restaurant

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Prague, Nov 13 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman had to pay 15,000 crowns for the privilege to smoke in a strictly non-smoking restaurant while on a visit to Brno on Thursday, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote Friday.

Smoking in such a restaurant is a presidential privilege, but the president has to pay the fee, MfD writes.

On Thursday, Zeman came to see senior officials of the Czech judiciary in the town. The final meeting was held in the luxurious Pavillon restaurant where smoking is prohibited, it adds.

However, one could smell smoke around Zeman, a chain smoker, MfD writes.

For this, the Presidential Office paid 15,000 crowns, MfD writes, referring to its own sources.

“Only the president will be able to smoke here. We will not comment on the rest,” the restaurant manager, Adam Smid, is quoted as saying.

Officially, no one has confirmed the payment of the bill, MfD writes.

“I do not know anything,” presidential spokesman Jiri Ovcacek is quoted as saying.

Zeman’s smoking there resembles the incident described by the Respekt weekly earlier this year, MfD writes.

During the September stay at the NATO summit in Britain, Zeman was also smoking in a non-smoking room in the Radisson Blu hotel, it adds.

For clearing the room, the hotel management sent an invoice for the equivalent of 60,000 crowns to him, MfD writes.

Ovcacek and the Foreign Ministry, that paid for the journey, have declined to confirm the fee, it adds.

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