No vision - Czech politicians on Zeman's speech

Prezident Miloš Zeman při přípravách na vánoční poselství, které pronesl 26. prosince na zámku v Lánech.

published: 26.12.2013, 17:13 | updated: 26.12.2013 17:14:37

Prague - President Milos Zeman's Christmas speech in which he said he had fulfilled the promises he gave upon taking up office lacked vision, some Czech politicians said in reaction to it today.

"It was a very personal, solemn and accommodating speech. But perhaps I am not the only one who lacked at least a sign of a look into future," Social Democrat (CSSD) leader and probable next prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka told CTK.

"I consider it understandable that Zeman used the Christmas speech to evaluate his first year in the post and the fulfilment of some of his pre-election obligations and to explain again his steps leading to the appointment of the Jiri Rusnok caretaker government," Sobotka said.

Zeman told the general public in his Christmas speech that he made good five promises he gave to it during his presidential campaign.

Zeman thanked Jiri Rusnok's caretaker government and wished Czechs good health and a life filled with useful acts.

"It was an evaluating Christmas speech without any conflict that was right in the Christmas atmosphere," Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) leader Pavel Belobradek said.

Social Democrat Jan Hamacek, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, said he felt rather embarrassed at the speech.

He said Zeman had explained the change in the day when the speech was delivered by his effort to follow up the tradition of interwar Czechoslovakia when presidents were delivering Christmas messages.

"Nevertheless, the content of the speech itself was no Christmas message, but rather a report on the execution of the presidential office. I have to say that with its content, the speech was not in harmony with Christmas time," Hamacek said.

Social Democrat Milan Stech, head of the Senate, said he had a better impression.

"I have no critical comments. Nevertheless, I can imagine a different type of speech in which he would comment on the past social and political problems and voice a certain vision of the future," Stech said.

Rusnok said Zeman's taking a stock of his work reflected all the steps Zeman had promised.

"I expected a promise and vision of the future. I am sorry that this was not said," Communist (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip said.

Media experts Jan Jirak and Daniel Koeppl were rather critical of the speech.

They said Zeman had looked self-centred.

"It was exceptionally self-centred, perhaps even narcissistic," Koeppl said.

He said a speech in the style "look at how good I am" chosen by Zeman was out-fashioned.

Jirak said even during his speech, Zeman was a political figure engaged in a dialogue with his opponents.

Jirak said he comprehended Zeman's effort to return to the tradition from the era of first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-1935), but he was not sure whether this was a fortunate idea.

January 1, on which previous presidents delivered their New Year speeches, is the day celebrating the Czech Republic's establishment.

"This was now fully abandoned and this is a pity," Jirak said.

Author:
www.ctk.cz

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