Zeman Starts Fire At Prague Castle: Burns Red Boxer Shorts

Miloš Zeman

Prague, June 14 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman burnt the red trunks, which the Ztohoven artistic group hanged out at the Prague Castle’s roof instead of the presidential flag in 2015, in the Castle garden with journalists present today.


The Presidential Office bought the trunks for one crown from the Office for the Government Representation in Property Affairs.


On this occasion, Zeman told reporters that politics should be done on the basis of the exchange of arguments and not based on underwear. He added that the times of underwear in politics were over.


“To demonstrate this opinion, I have decided to burn the red trunks we bought from the Office for the Government Representation in Property Affairs for a single crown,” Zeman said.


The Castle firefighters in their full professional outfits then laid the red boxer shorts on the fireplace and burnt them near a pond in the Lumbe Garden in the Castle complex.


The Presidential Office announced on Wednesday that Zeman would give a press briefing at 16:30 on Thursday, but Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek kept the issue of the briefing secret. This provoked the media and public speculations.


Zeman told reporters that he had tested their intelligence in vain. “I am sorry to make blockheads of you, you really do not deserve this,” he told dozens of journalists present today.


Zeman is notorious with his critical stance on journalists.


Representatives of the opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), Mayors and Independents (STAN), TOP 09 and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) criticised Zeman’s act on Twitter today.


Members of the Ztohoven hoax group, disguised as chimney sweepers, hung out giant red boxer shorts on the roof of Prague Castle, the presidential seat, instead of the presidential flag in September 2015, in protest against Zeman’s behaviour in office.


The group released a video on Facebook saying “the proper flag of a man who is not ashamed of anything finally flies above Prague Castle.” They particularly criticised Zeman for siding with dictatorial regimes, such as China and Russia, and his vulgar language. The group cut the original presidential flag into more than 1000 pieces and distributed them among people.


A court did not qualify the incident as a crime first, but the Presidential Office appealed the verdict and the artists were given suspended sentences eventually.