published: 17.10.2013, 17:27 | updated: 17.10.2013 17:35:31
Prague - A brief profile of Livia Klausova, 69, Czech first lady from March 2003 to March 2013, who has received agrement of Bratislava to be Czech ambassador to Slovakia.
Date and place of birth: November 10, 1943, Bratislava.
Education: graduates from Prague´s University of Economics (VSE) majoring in foreign trade and receives diploma from Universite Internationale de Sciences Comparees in Luxembourg, both in 1966; a certificate from Salzburg seminar in 1988; PhD in world economics at VSE in 1990.
Professional career: PZO Centrotex company focusing on international business (1966-67); research worker at Economic Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (1967-93); executive secretary of the Czech Economic Society (1994-2000).
Membership of statutory bodies: CEZ power utility supervisory board member (1994-1998); ZVVZ Milevsko machinery company supervisory board member (1995-1996) and deputy chairwoman (1996-2003); Ceska sporitelna bank member (1993-2000) and deputy chairwoman (2000-03).
Language skills: Russian, French, English, Slovak.
Hobbies: fine art, music, ballet, interior and garden design.
Family: married, has two sons, Vaclav (1969) and Jan (1974), with her husband, former prime minister and president Vaclav Klaus, and six grandchildren. She is of Slovak origin, her father was a lawyer and her mother a teacher. The family moved to Prague when she was two years old.
- She was Czech first lady for ten years after her husband became the head of state in March 2003. She was known as sociable and had good relations with media. She did various charity work, was a patron of the Register of Bone Marrow Donors, cooperated with the Zivot 90 foundation helping old people and with the Institute of Social Care for children in Bystrice nad Uhlavou. She has been administrative board head of the Livia and Vaclav Klaus Foundation.
- She represented her country to some extent already when her husband was prime minister and head of the lower house of Czech parliament in the 1990s. She usually was not in the limelight, but she reacted in critical situations. In 1997 she publicly supported her husband when he was under pressure to step down as Civic Democratic Party (ODS) chairman over dubious party financing.
- She won recognition of the public and mainly women for how calmly she coped with her husband´s infidelity (which Klaus labelled "red light crossing") about which tabloids wrote in 2002-03. She later admitted it was hard for her.
- She took part in the campaign before the direct presidential election that produced Klaus´s successor in January 2013. Her statement that she would not like the first lady to speak only German was seen as support to Milos Zeman against his rival Karel Schwarzenberg whose wife is Austrian.
- Daily Lidove noviny noted in February that Slovak historian Matej Medvecky concluded that Klausova´s father Stefan Mistina took part in the persecution against Slovak Jews during World War Two. According to Medvecky, Mistina worked for the secret police headquarters in Bratislava from 1940. In 1948 he joined the Slovak Communist Party. Klausova said in reaction she only knew that her father had worked at the labour and social care ministry.
- President Milos Zeman proposed her for Slovak ambassador. Czech press speculated that Zeman did it in exchange for her support in the presidential election campaign. Zeman then had a dispute with former foreign minister Schwarzenberg over the nomination of Klausova and Communist MEP Vladimir Remek for ambassador to Moscow. The dispute ended only after several months when the government fell, including Schwarzenberg. Klausova has recently been working at the Foreign Ministry´s Central European section to prepare for her diplomatic mission.
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