President Klaus: Václav Havel symbolized modern-day Czech state

Reacting to the demise of his predecessor in office, Czech President Václav Klaus on Sunday said Václav Havel had come to symbolize the modern-day Czech state, and his personality, name and work played a crucial role in the Czech Republic’s accession to the community of free and democratic states. Mr Klaus said he respected Václav Havel ever since they first met in the 1960s. In November 1989, Václav Havel invited Václav Klaus to join the emerging Czechoslovak democratic government; although the two politicians often clashed on a number of issues throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium, President Klaus said these polemics were very fruitful.

Author: Jan Richter