published: 14.02.2013, 13:20 | updated: 14.02.2013 13:46:48
Ceske Budejovice - Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus is not ashamed of his words attacking his predecessor Vaclav Havel in the Polish weekly Do Rzeczy, and he considers them correct and true, Klaus said during his visit to South Bohemia today.
Klaus said he had been making such statements for long.
Klaus, whose second and last five-year term expires on March 7, mentioned Havel (Czechoslovak and Czech president in 1989-2003) on various occasions of late.
In a recent interview for Do Rzeczy, he called Havel an extreme leftist who was breaking down the existing human order.
The Czech PEN Club called on Klaus to refrain from attacking Havel in an open letter on Wednesday.
Klaus said he had not made any unflattering comments on Havel.
"Those were all sentences I have long been telling, maybe for decades... I do not feel ashamed of them at all. I think they are true and correct," Klaus said.
Czech PEN representatives wrote in their letter that it was a right of intellectuals to polemicise with ideas, but it should be done with respect and nobility.
Klaus called the letter imprudent.
"First I recommend them to read my long interview for the Polish weekly that has 12 questions, one ensuing from the other, and one of them logically comes to the differences between my opinions and those of Vaclav Havel," Klaus said adding that these views of his are nothing new.
"And now a certain group picks them as a target to shoot at," Klaus added.
Klaus also mentioned Havel at his meeting with president-elect Milos Zeman, who will replace him on March 8.
Klaus said no surprise would be waiting for Zeman when taking over the office while Klaus had found tailor-made book shelves torn out from the walls. However, the shelves were Havel´s personal property as they were specially designed for Havel by his friend Borek Sipek.
Klaus replaced Havel in the presidential post in March 2003 and he was re-elected five years later. Klaus and Havel were opponents in their views.
On the other hand, in his speech at Havel's funeral on December 23, 2011, Klaus praised Havel´s significance. He said along with Havel, a president, politician, intellectual and artist had left whom the nation would remember with gratitude, esteem and respect.
However, later Klaus again started to set himself apart from Havel.
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