Havel should have founded political party - Albright in Prague


09.06.2014 17:54

Prague - Czech-born Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, reproaches former Czech president Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) for one thing only - that he did not establish his own political party, she said at a conference of the Prague branch of the U.S. Aspen Institute today.


Bývalá americká ministryně zahraničí Madeleine Albrightová a prezident Aspen Institute Prague Michael Žantovský na dvoudenní výroční konferenci pražské pobočky amerického myšlenkového trustu Aspenský institut (Aspen Institute Prague), která byla zahájena 9. června v Praze. Tématem konference budou geopolitické změny ve střední a východní Evropě za posledních 25 let. ČTK Kamaryt Michal

The institute deals with geopolitical changes in Central and Eastern Europe in the past 25 years, after the collapse of the communist regime.

Havel´s moral power dissolved in a certain way because his political party did not exist, said Albright, who was head of diplomacy in president Bill Clinton´s administration and Havel´s good friend.

Czech Ambassador to Britain Michael Zantovsky, head of the Aspen Institute Prague and Havel´s former spokesman, recalled stormy debates about the establishment of Havel´s party.

"Some of us tried to persuade him [to found his party]... There was a high number of his supporters who wanted to be organised somehow, but others, on the contrary, did not want to," Zantovsky said.

Havel, playwright, thinker and dissident, was the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president (1989-2003). After he left the post he primarily focused on the promotion of human rights in the world. He died on December 18, 2011, aged 75 years.

Participants in the two-day conference held in the Senate´s seat also touched upon current challenges.

Albright commented on the strengthening position of extremist parties in Europe, which the recent European Parliament (EP) election confirmed.

She said she was observing the lack of respect for Romanies not only in the Czech Republic with anxiety.

No good system of public administration will ever exist anywhere unless human rights for all people are recognised, she said, adding that Romanies must have a chance of integrating into society in all countries.

Along with Albright and Zantovsky, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former Slovak finance minister Ivan Miklos and former EU commissioner and Hungarian ex-foreign minister Peter Balazs gave speeches at the conference today.

Joe Lieberman, former candidate for U.S. vice-president, former Slovak PM Iveta Radicova and Prague Mayor Tomas Hudecek will address the conference on Tuesday.

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