October 29, 2010


Address delivered to the members of the Diplomatic Corps on the occasion of the Czech National Day

English Pages, 28. 10. 2010 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome all of you here, at the Prague Castle, on the day which has a special significance for the Czechs, for the Czech Republic, for its history, for its present, as well as for its future.

We gather here every year on this occasion to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the modern Czech state, which happened 92 years ago, on the 28th October 1918. It is a celebration, it is a festive day of our republic, of our democracy and of our sovereignty. All that is for us symbolically connected with this date.
We also know and we know it too well that these attributes of our statehood can never be taken for granted and that their existence has to be continuously reinstated. I will talk about it in more detail this evening, at a ceremony you are invited to attend.

Let me say a few words about how we see our country now, in the year 2010. We succeeded in coming to the end of the four years long period of an antagonistically divided parliament, which was an obstacle for the efficient and decisive functioning of the government. This year’s parliamentary elections did bring about a new, clear and distinct delineation of the Czech political scene, they brought in new politicians and new political parties and made it possible for the governing coalition to govern with a strong parliamentary majority. I do believe this will bring stability, decisiveness and a greater courage to make the much needed changes possible.

I intentionally did not say reforms. Talking about reforms is often just an evasive maneuver, not an interest in real changes which are – here and elsewhere – inevitable. The countries cannot permanently live beyond their means. And especially one important part of the world – Europe – cannot do it.

This year has also meant a turning-point in the economic development of this country. The key macroeconomic indicators have turned from negative figures to positive ones, although the numbers with plus signs are still relatively low. The problem we must pay a special attention to – and it is a common problem for many European countries, as well as for some countries of other continents – is the stabilization of public finances and a lowering of the budget deficits. It is not an easy task and it will not be easy to gain public support for it, but our problem is fortunately not as grave as it is in some other countries. That is also why the necessary budgetary cuts will not have to be dramatic.

In Europe, the year 2010 has been the year of the first steps towards the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and I believe it will not be taken as an expression of an unfriendly Euro-pessimistic attitude, when I say that the first steps were neither too decisive, nor persuasive. In the spring it all was pushed back by the crisis of the Euro, to which the Greek, and not only Greek, debt crisis gave the major impulse. For some of us, this did not come as a surprise. The only question was which part of the frail chain of European monetary integration was going to break first.

The most important moment in this year’s world politics – from the Czech Republic’s perspective – was the signature of the Treaty on further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms by the President of the United States Barack Obama and the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev which took place in April here, at the Prague Castle. We are pleased this Treaty exists and would wish for its follow-up.
In the year 2010 both the swine flue and global warming have receded but a new virus has emerged. I see it in the increasingly more and more promoted idea of global governance, which is an over-ambitious, arrogant, unhumble attempt on the side of the anointed  to create a new world order, to which those of us who have lived in communism are very distrustful. It would be sufficient if the good old international cooperation functioned better than it does now. The global governance is not necessary. In any variant it would be highly undemocratic.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for celebrating this day with us. I have to repeat that what I have just said were only introductory remarks. My main speech will be this evening and you will all be much welcome here at the Prague Castle again.

Václav Klaus, The Rothmayer Hall, Prague Castle, 28th October 2010