Zeman Stoops to New Low – Delivers Campaign Speech in lieu of Traditional Christmas MessageČTK
Prague, Dec 26 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman made his most to calm down the situation in his Christmas message at the end of the year, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said today, while presidential candidate Jiri Drahos said Zeman quite ignored the role of president when forming the government.
Babis said the speech was positive and constructive.
In the speech, Zeman refused the idea of an early election, raising his fist to stress his words, and promised to support Babis when mustering support for his minority government.
“The speech gives us hope and belief that our country is successful and it has a potential to be even more successful,” he added.
Zeman said Czechs should be proud of the Czech Republic’s having a very good security situation, a low jobless rate and a high economic growth.
The speech was also praised by head of the anti-European and anti-Islamist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) Tomio Okamura.
Okamura said the speech had reflected the priorities of his movement.
“Zeman’s speech was slightly optimistic. To my pleasant surprise, it was also delivered in the spirit of SPD priorities,” Okamura said.
Zeman rejected the EU migrant quotas in the Christmas message.
Communist leader Vojtech Filip stressed that Zeman’s words had reflected the confidence In Czechs’ own forces and the capabilities of the “people of the work.”
Head of the Pirate deputy group Jakub Michalek tweeted ironically that the message had included everything.
“Economic data, popular topics, attack on his opponents, simply Zeman as usual. The Christmas message perhaps lacked a single thing, a Christmas message,” Michalek said.
Pirates leader Ivan Bartos said Zeman’s speech did not contain any sign of reconciliation.
“A Christmas speech is no political campaign with the need of crushing the opponents. One can expect some generosity from a president whose mandate will soon end. Especially if there is Christmas,” Bartos said.
TOP 09 leader Jiri Pospisil said instead of values, Zeman was mainly speaking about routine political affairs.
The speech lacked a statement on the importance of freedom and democracy for Czech society.
“Even at Christmas, he was unable to stop supporting Babis,” Pospisil said.
“I agree with Zeman that the Czech Republic needs fewer civil servants and more investments, but I am not sure whether such messages should be in the Christmas message by a head of state,” Pospisil said.
Former culture minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), with whom Zeman is at loggerheads, reacted to Zeman’s words that politicians could be replaced, while the voters not.
“Let us replace Zeman in January so that we no longer have to feel ashamed of him,” Herman said.
In January, there will be the first round of the presidential election. Zeman seeks re-election.
Drahos said Zeman was trying to undermine the Czech Republic’s membership of the EU and NATO throughout his presidential term.
Drahos said if he had expected something better or new at the close of Zeman’s term, he was disappointed.
“There was a single innovation in his speech. The threat by a fist as a new element of the Christmas message,” Drahos said.
Zeman has made it clear what type of the government he would like to have. Not a strong and stable government, but a minority government with the support from extremists, Drahos said.