Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman today received outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok at a traditional new year's luncheon of the heads of state and government that Zeman hosted for the first time in the presidential summer residence in Lany chateau, central Bohemia.
Prezident Miloš Zeman (vpravo) poobědval 3. ledna na zámku v Lánech s premiérem v demisi Jiřím Rusnokem. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
Rusnok arrived in Lany without his wife. She excused herself from the luncheon, according to CTK information.
The luncheon lasted for about two hours. The menu consisted of traditional Czech dishes, such as broth with small liver dumplings and roast duck with cabbage and potato. Creme brulee and ice cream were served as dessert.
Zeman, who was elected president in January 2013 and inaugurated in March, received the prime minister in Lany for the first time this year.
Rusnok's caretaker government, which Zeman appointed against the will of most parties in parliament last summer, lost the vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies and had to resign.
It will be soon replaced by a coalition government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) formed on the basis of the late-October early general election´s results.
Zeman´s predecessor Vaclav Klaus (2003-2013) also annually invited the heads of government with their wives to the new year´s luncheon.
However, last year then prime minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) rejected the invitation for serious family reasons.
Later Necas announced that he and his wife had not been living together for several months. They divorced in the summer and Necas soon afterwards married his former office head Jana Nagyova, who figures in the illegal surveillance and political corruption scandal that caused Necas´s fall in mid-2013.
Necas´s predecessor at the government and ODS's helm, Mirek Topolanek (PM in 2006-2009), was in a similar situation. He went to the new year´s luncheons with Klaus without his wife whom he later divorced and married his new partner.
Apart from the prime ministers, Klaus invited the heads of the lower and upper house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, to the new year´s luncheon.