Zeman Celebrates Democratic Socialism With KSCM ‘Comrades’

Nymburk, Central Bohemia, April 21 (CTK) – What Communists call the “victorious February,” was in fact a “lost February” because it created a power monopoly, President Milos Zeman said about the February 1948 Communist takeover at the Communist congress today.


Any monopoly leads to degeneration, Zeman said.


He also spoke about the executed people under the Communist regime, including some party members.


Zeman specifically named General Heliodor Pika, executed after a show trial in 1949, democratic politician Milada Horakova and Communist senior official Rudolf Slansky.


These were no deformations, these were no errors, these were crimes, Zeman said.


He called on the Communists to make a soul-searching.


A repentance should be an opening to cleansing, a normal life, Zeman said, adding that he was an advocate of socialism, but it must be democratic socialism.


Zeman said he wished he could denote Communists with a clear conscience as a democratic party.


Zeman took part for the first time in a Communist congress since the end of the Communist rule in 1989. A crowd of over 200 protesters against his presence there gathered outside the building where the congress is held.


Zeman said it was a duty of the president to meet any parliamentary party that invited him, to hear it and to say one’s own views.


Zeman said he had also accepted the participation in recent congresses of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Social Democrats.


Turning to the restarted government-forming talks between Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO and the Social Democrats, Zeman said he would wait for their outcome.


Zeman said he would be glad if ANO and the Social Democrats invited a third party to the talks, as wanted by the Communists.


The new government may be formed with the Communist tolerance.


Zeman started his speech by addressing the 300 delegates to the congress with the words “Dear comrades,” which was applauded.


Zeman said this was the old Social Democrat greeting. At present, Social Democrats call themselves “friends.”


Zeman addressed the Communist leader, Vojtech Filip, with the words “Dear comrade chairman, dear Vojta.”