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Hello, this is the real Sarkozy

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Prague Castle, 1.1.2009, shortly after midnight, President Václav Klaus drank a toast with a sparkling wine called Špuntík and kissed Livia, Jakl and Hájek good night.

In bed, he is highlighting in disagreement passages from the Economist 2009 year book and preparing a short, 12-page essay entitled Me, through my eyes. As usual, there is nothing important going on in his little country or anywhere else in the world.

Suddenly a ring, emanating from a black telephone reserved for the president’s most important calls (with Washington, Moscow and the Vestec tennis club), pierces the chilly winter night.

“Mr. President, it’s Paris…”

On the other end of the line: “Dammit, Carla, can’t you go somewhere else with that guitar for a while. Do you know who’s on the line. It must be better than having Arabs there… Hello, President Klaus? This is the real President Sarkozy. I’m not disturbing you, am I? I have no idea what time you have in the east…”

“Good evening, this is Václav Klaus. I’m assuming you are calling from the Paris barricade.”

“I just wanted to ask, if you’re flying the EU flag in Kremlin, since, as of seven minutes ago, ha ha ha, you are now presiding over the union.”

“I must say that no one has used that kind of tone with me over the last six years. Except for Cohn-Bendit, who must be, I assume, a friend of yours.”

“But Mr. President. I propose a truce. I will fight for you and you fight for me. I myself come from eastern Europe, so I respect that region. And I will not abide the caricature-like behaviour of some of our local politicians. Not that I have someone specific in mind… ha ha ha.”

“I can see that the presidency for you became little more than an amusement, a drug.”

“Mr. President, Václav, honestly: In October, I received a visit from that tall guy sent from your country… he was a bit too tall for me.”

“Yes, unfortunately, I sometimes receive visits from him too.”

“Václav, it’s a good thing that you can talk so openly about such unpleasant subjects. I’m not sure if your country can handle the presidency. But I, on the other hand, have plenty of strength and energy…”

“I think, Sarko, we are starting to understand one another. You should drop by sometime. Carla can bring her guitar. Láďa also plays a bit.”

“Václav, I wanted to ask: How many planes does your government fleet have, if you have one, that is?”

“I understand, Sarko. I recently had a very nice conversation with my friend Kaczyński. But let’s not go down this road. We have two. They both fly, unfortunately.”

“Merde! And your opposition?”

“I don’t have any opposition. Everyone loves me. I will call you after New Year’s, ok? Give my regards to Carla.”

“I’m looking forward to it. Carla will send you her record. And I’ll have a flag for you.”


Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.

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