published: 26.12.2013, 13:43 | updated: 26.12.2013 13:45:13
Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman told the general public in his Christmas speech today that he fulfilled 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.
With the timing of his Christmas speech, Zeman wanted to follow up the tradition of interwar Czechoslovakia when Christmas speeches were delivered by President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-1935).
"Until 1948, the speeches had the character of Christmas messages. The first New Year speech was made by Communist President Klement Gottwald on January 1, 1949," Zeman said.
Zeman said at the end of the year, the president should take a stock of his work.
He focused on the five promises he had given to the public during his presidential campaign and shortly after it.
Zeman promised that unlike his predecessors, he would not declare any amnesty or grant pardons.
"Thanks to this, it cannot happen that a pardon would be granted to a man who killed his father, to a popular cycling champion who killed three innocent people in a traffic accident and to a tax fraudster who was granted a pardon for health reasons and then he miraculously recovered," Zeman said in a not very veiled reference to the pardons granted by his predecessors, Vaclav Klaus and Vaclav Havel.
Zeman also vowed to improve the Czech Republic's relations with the EU.
He said he had primarily tried to improve the conditions for the drawing of EU subsidies.
"Like in the seats of most European heads of state, at Prague Castle, too, now the flag of the EU of which we are a member is hoisted," Zeman said.
Zeman said when taking up office, he pledged to stabilise the Constitutional Court that was on the verge of collapse.
"The Constitutional Court now works in its full composition and it works well," Zeman said.
Zeman said he was giving one-third of his presidential salary to repay the state debt.
He said in the past weeks, he was being joined by individuals and companies.
"I wish the fund became an analogy to the collection to support and help the country, although I know that the reduction of debt is primarily a task of the government and its economic policy," Zeman said.
Zeman said it was the most complicated affair to fulfil his last promise of trying to unify rather than divide society.
He said the society had been divided over the followers and opponents of Prime Minister Petr Necas's government, while it was opposed by 80 percent of the population.
He said by naming the Jiri Rusnok caretaker government he had provoked an early election.
He thanked members of the Rusnok government for understanding well their offices and for drafting the 2014 budget bill.
Along with health, Zeman wished a life filled with useful acts to people.
"Only such a life can bring happiness and joy," Zeman said at the close of his speech.
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