Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla addresses the nation

From left to right: Vice Chairman of the Senate Premysl Sobotka, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, Chairman of the Senate Petr Pithart, photo: CTK

On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla addressed the nation in a live broadcast from government headquarters in Prague. Mr Spidla said the recent floods had revealed the sources of the nation's strength - solidarity, compassion, bravery and the ability to serve higher interests. Alena Skodova has more:

From left to right: Vice Chairman of the Senate Premysl Sobotka, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, Chairman of the Senate Petr Pithart, photo: CTK
The devastating floods have not turned out to be a catastrophe for Czech society - this was the main thrust of Mr. Spidla's seven minute speech broadcast live on Czech TV. The better side of human nature has been clearly shown, Mr. Spidla said, adding that this could not only be the source of justified self-confidence for everyone, but that he, as the Czech Republic's Prime Minister, is proud as well. According to him, the worst is now over:

"We are like a boxer who's received a heavy punch, but has not been knocked out, is ready to stay in the ring for more rounds, and is prepared to win. The Czech Republic has endured that heavy blow, but we have stood the test and we're strong enough to repair all the damage. I'm absolutely sure of this."

The Prime Minister noted that the time ahead would not be easy: although it would be less dramatic, it might be more demanding. There will be no clear boundaries between what is correct and just, and what is not. The government is well aware of its duties, he said, the most significant of which is the fact that it's a government for all. But Mr. Spidla promised those who might feel totally abandoned and who are starting to lose patience, that they would not be left without help.

Mr. Spidla also thanked all rescuers for an excellent job and said that the costs for repairing the damage would be justly distributed among all of society.

Although Mr. Spidla mentioned 11 flood victims, another 4 deaths are registered and the state administration is waiting for confirmation whether those people died as a result of the devastating floods. Meanwhile, both chambers of the Czech parliament have passed a whole range of amendments, including subsidies and generous loans to citizens afflicted by the floods that have caused damage estimated at 90 billion crowns.