Prague, April 23 (CTK) – Michel Fleischmann, president of the Lagardere Active media group in the Czech Republic received the top French state award, the National Order of the Legion of Honour, from ambassador Roland Galharague for his contributions and lifelong work on Monday.

France has decorated Fleischmann in appreciation of his crucial influencing of the Czech media scene and contributing to the success of many show business talents.

Galhargue said Fleischmann has significantly contributed to relations between Prague and Paris and to mutual understanding and the process of the two countries coming closer to each other.

“For me, France is my other home, other homeland. France accepted me in an incredible way and gave me a chance to work and learn the radio broadcasting skills, which I could eventually use in the Czech Republic, even with the support of French investments,” Fleischmann told CTK.

Fleischmann was born in Prague in 1952. From the mid-1960s, he lived in France where his father worked as a cultural counsellor at the Czechoslovak embassy. After the Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the family decided to settle in France definitively. Fleischmann majored in modern French literature at Sorbonne and started his career in French radio. He has also translated works by Czech authors into French.

After the fall of the communist regime, he returned to the Czech Republic to establish the local first private radio station – Evropa 2, and subsequently built a media group also including Frekvence 1, Bonton, Dance, ZET and other radio stations.

Several days ago, the Czech Media Invest (CMI) company, controlled by Daniel Kretinsky, announced that it is buying the Lagardere group’s radio stations in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Romania for 73 million euros.

“The commitment arising in relation to the new owner is the continuation of what I have been doing so far, and I hope I will enjoy his confidence. The capital entry is a logical consequence of the developments in all Czech media…The bigger you are, the bigger your chance to achieve even better trade results. We are a commercial company, which is why we are either buying or selling or ‘selling ourselves’,” Fleischmann said.