Czech President Milos Zeman to end New Year speeches

Prezident Miloš Zeman poskytl 5. prosince v Praze exkluzivní rozhovor ČTK.

published: 05.12.2013, 16:32 | updated: 05.12.2013 16:33:53

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman will not follow up the tradition of New Year speeches and instead, he will deliver the Christmas message from the Lany presidential chateau, central Bohemia, on December 26, Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK today.

Zeman wants to follow up the habit from interwar Czechoslovakia when similar speeches were delivered by Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-1935), Ovcacek said.

Zeman's predecessors Vaclav Havel (1993-2003) and Vaclav Klaus (2003-2013) spoke to Czech citizens on January 1.

Ovcacek said the Christmas message would last 20 minutes, was to have the "Christmas atmosphere" and the head of state would probably speak "from memory."

"Maybe the first directly elected president will evaluate the past year," Ovcacek said, adding that the tradition of the New Year speech only started after the 1948 Communist coup.

The first presidential speech was delivered by Klement Gottwald (1948-1953) on January 1. Previously, the heads of state were speaking to the nation at Christmas time.

Author:
www.ctk.cz

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