published: 19.01.2013, 18:47 | updated: 19.01.2013 19:54:02
Prague - Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus said today he condemns the statements Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) made on the postwar Benes Decrees within his presidential campaign earlier this week, Novinky.cz news server writes.
"The Czech public is not and cannot be indifferent to attempts at challenging the postwar arrangements. The statements of our foreign minister in the Czech presidential campaign gave these attempts a completely new dimension and I fear that it will also give them totally new importance," Klaus told the server after his return from Poland today where he met the Polish and Slovak presidents.
Klaus pointed out that both in Poland and Slovakia such statements are considered something absolutely incomprehensible.
He said he knew of Schwarzenberg´s view on this issue for a long time, but that he did not expect Schwarzenberg to dare say it in his election campaign for Czech president.
In a television duel ahead of the direct presidential election, Schwarzenberg said Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes and the then government "would probably find themselves in The Hague today," alluding to the International Court of Justice.
"That we applied this principle of collective guilt, that we did not pay regard for whether someone was loyal to the republic or did something wrong to it, this is what I reproach our ancestors for," Schwarzenberg said.
He said the chosen procedure was a serious mistake.
The decrees issued by Benes provided for the confiscation of the property of collaborators, traitors, ethnic Germans and Hungarians, except for those who themselves suffered under the Nazis. They also formed a basis for the transfer of two ethnic groups from Czechoslovakia after World War Two.
Former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman who fights with Schwarzenberg for presidency also strongly criticised these statements in their television duel on Friday, saying he cannot respect Schwarzenberg anymore.
Zeman said Schwarzenberg spoke like a Sudeten German, not a head of state.
Klaus said recently the Czech president should be a man who spent his whole life in his homeland, in fact rejecting Schwarzenberg´s candidacy.
Schwarzenberg´s aristocratic family emigrated after the 1948 Czechoslovak communist coup. Schwarzenberg spent 40 years in Austria and Germany. He returned to his homeland after the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
18.06.2013 | 12:51
18.06.2013 | 10:51
18.06.2013 | 07:18
Czech Prime Minister Necas tenders resignation to president
17.06.2013 | 18:28
ODS wants PM in reshuffled Czech coalition govt
17.06.2013 | 15:27
Czech army intelligence chief put off duty over shadowing scandal
17.06.2013 | 12:30