President Havel buys holiday home in Portugal

President Havel and his wife, Dagmar, have bought a house in Portugal. In an interview for Czech Radio, President Havel said his new holiday home isn't in great shape, but is in a beautiful location, and the view, he told reporters, is gorgeous. Revealing some of his future plans, President Havel said "I'm thinking of the time when I will no longer be president, and I will spend many months in Portugal, reading, studying, thinking, and - I hope - writing."

President Havel has spent several vacations in Portugal in recent years, mainly because the warm weather and sea air helps to improve his medical condition. The Czech president has suffered several bouts of pneumonia since half of his right lung was removed four years ago, and regularly falls ill with respiratory problems. President Havel last spent time in Portugal in November 1999, when he began a program of physical training in preparation for a hernia operation he underwent last month.

The presidential couple won't have to wait too long before they start doing up their new home - the Havels plan to spend two weeks in Portugal in August.