In his final Christmas address delivered to the Czech nation days ago, President Miloš Zeman, who has held the post since 2013, recounting his 32-year political career, spoke in favor of continued aid to struggling Ukraine, slammed “green fanaticism,” spoke of the importance of national sovereignty, and argued that Russian aggression is threatening global and Czech security.
During his annual Christmas message, broadcasted from his chateau in Lány, Zeman, whose second and final presidential term is set to end on March 8th, began by saying: “I have always been a supporter of correct economic relations with the Russian Federation, especially due to the supply of relatively cheap energy raw materials. But there are situations when economic interests must give way to security interests,” the Czech news site Novinky reports.
Zeman emphasized that the Russo-Ukrainian war had been, by far, the most important event of the year.
“And global security, and therefore also the security of the Czech Republic, is threatened by this aggression. Therefore, I fully support the Czech Republic’s aid to the struggling Ukraine and I believe that pressure from free countries will sooner or later force Russia to leave the territory of Ukraine,” he added.
Zeman, who previously has been accused by liberal-globalist politicians and the mainstream press as holding a pro-Russian stance, commented on the European energy crisis that has been precipitated by the war, saying that it had exacerbated the economic crisis and rising energy prices, both of which he said were already in the making before the armed conflict’s outbreak. He also slammed the Green Deal, which he derided as “green fanaticism.”
The president said that during his tenure his primary struggle was to “defend Czech national interests,” for which the support of exports was essential, noting that this is why he sought to maintain cordial economic and diplomatic relations with all major countries, including Russia.
“As the president of the Czech Republic I was above all struggling to defend Czech national interests,” Zeman said, adding that another important struggle of his was to protect and conserve Czech sovereignty. On this point, he warned against the European Union’s planned abolishment of the unanimity principle.
“It could mean that the Czech Republic will lose part of its sovereignty because it will be outvoted by larger countries. I am an opponent of this solution,” he said.
Finally, after he recounted his three decade long political career, Zeman spoke of his retirement and what he plans to do after his presidential mandate has ended this spring.
“After March 8, I will retire, read interesting books and reminisce a little … I will forget the nobodies on the first day of my old-age pension. By contrast, I will gratefully and with respect remember all those with whom I had the honor of working for the nation,” he said.
Zeman said his final goodbye to the nation with a quote from a poem written by Vítězslav Nezval, a prominent Czech poet who lived in the 20th century. “If we never see again one another, this was wonderful and there was enough of it. Goodbye and a scarf,” he concluded.
As The European Conservative previously reported, the Czech Republic is preparing to elect a successor to Miloš Zeman. The process begins two weeks from today:
The first round of the election will be held on January 13th and 14th and will see the nine candidates compete, all of whom have had their candidacies validated by the ministry of the interior. To do so, they had to gather the sponsorship of at least twenty deputies, ten senators, or 50,000 citizens. If none of them receives an absolute majority of votes, the second round will be held a fortnight later, on January 27th and 28th 2023.