Milos Zeman


Senate Chairman Stech Snubs Zeman

Prague, Sept 5 (CTK) – Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) will not attend the forthcoming meeting of top elected officials on the coordination of Czech foreign policy since he will be France when it will be held, Stech told journalists today.


Stech said he had offered his earlier return from his official trip, but representatives of the Presidential Office refused to shift the scheduled time.


President Milos Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said a decent man should respect “the schedule set some time ago and not dishonorably lament in the media.”


Stech said the coordination of foreign policy was not good in the Czech Republic, which caused risks.


Zeman has repeatedly called meetings of top elected officials on foreign policy. They were to harmonise the foreign policy of the government, the president and chairmen of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. There was also the prime minister and defence and foreign ministers.


The meeting is to be held on September 12.


Stech told CTK he had been asked whether he could come to the Presidential Office at 14:00.


He answered on the same day he would be in France at a meeting with the chairman of the French Senate, which will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia.


He said he had offered to shorten the meeting and to return by 17:00.


“A few days later, I was told that the meeting was called for 14:00,” Stech said.


Stech said he did not consider decent to cancel the visit to Paris. “I think that my the schedule could have been changed according to my wish,” he added.


Stech has tense relations with Zeman whom he has several times criticised publicly.


Senate spokesrwoman Eva Davidova said Stech would be replaced with Senate deputy chairwoman Miluse Horska at the meeting.