milos zeman


Zeman To Decorate Interwar PM In Memoriam

Miloš Zeman

Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, Aug 23 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman will bestow the supreme Czech decoration, the Order of the White Lion, on Czechoslovak prime minister Antonin Svehla (1873-1933) in memoriam, Zeman told journalists today.


Svehla was the leader of the Agrarian Party and Czechoslovak prime minister between 1922 and 1929.


Zeman said he wished people esteemed the politicians who were able to support farmers also on the political level. “Not only as food producers, but also as those who shape the landscape,” he added.


Zeman said he had decided to give the Order of the White Lion of the First Class to Svehla.


So far, Zeman has bestowed 21 Orders of the White Lion, mostly to soldiers from the first and second world wars and representatives of foreign countries.


Last year, he gave the medal to Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka.


In the past months, Zeman said he would decorate the three Czech soldiers who were killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan in early August.


He will also give a medal to the two-time Olympic winner, skier Ester Ledecka.


In May, he indicated that he may decorate one of the World War Two veterans.


Zeman also plans to decorate Alena Vitaskova, a former director of the Energy Regulation Office (ERU)


The Order of the White Lion is the top Czech state decoration. The Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order is the second highest medal. The president also bestows the medals for Bravery and For Merit.


The decorations are bestowed on January 1 and October 28, the state holiday commemorating the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918.