published: 02.10.2012, 18:26 | updated: 02.10.2012 18:28:22
Prague - Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) today ended cooperation with his aide Roman Joch and resolutely rejected Joch´s statements indicating that President Vaclav Klaus acted cowardly after a recent airsoft gun attack against him.
"I clearly distance myself from the statements of Roman Joch," Necas said in a press release.
Necas said all contracts between the Government Office and Joch have been immediately cancelled today.
Necas and Klaus have recently clashed over various issues and Klaus vetoed several major bills that the government pushed through parliament.
According to some commentators, Klaus wants Necas to leave the post of prime minister and Necas´s efforts at placating Klaus are in vain.
On September 28, a young left-wing radical shot plastic pellets from an airsoft gun at Klaus during a public gathering. Klaus´s bodyguards seemed to have been caught off guard.
The shooter said his desperate act wanted to point to the failure of Czech politicians to listen to common people. He was accused of breach of peace.
On October 1, Klaus said the attack was prompted by a bad atmosphere in society created by "hate-mongers." In this context, Klaus´s assistants named some personalities who repeatedly criticised Klaus in media.
Klaus also said he rejects Necas´s view that the shooting attack was "a regrettable incident."
It was the first assassination attempt in the country´s modern history, Klaus told Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) daily.
But Joch, who was Necas´s aide for foreign affairs and human rights until now, wrote on his blog that the airsoft gun shooting was no assassination at all, but merely a protest that was unfortunate, stupid and condemnable.
He points out that Klaus´s life was not threatened in any way.
Joch, known to be a hardline conservative, writes he does not like the left-wing for its whining, cry-baby mentality and its tendency to always present itself as a victim.
He said Klaus is doing the same now.
Joch said U.S. President Ronald Reagan made jokes following an attempt to kill him. But Reagan was a conservative politician, he adds.
He writes that he had thousands of reservations about late president Vaclav Havel, but also thousands of reasons to respect him. Havel would have downplayed such an airsoft gun attack, he says.
"But Havel was a man. Not a whining Kremlin-loving sissy," Joch concludes.
Joch heads the Civic Institute conservative think tank. As Necas´s aide, he was often criticised by nongovernmental organisations for his attitudes to human rights affairs. Due to his conservative and Eurosceptical views, Joch was often considered one of Klaus´s allies.
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