2nd President of the Czech Republic

Václav Klaus

Václav Klaus born 19 June 1941is a Czech economist and politician who served as the secondPresident of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013. He also served as the second and last Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, federal subject of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, from July 1992 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in January 1993, and as the first Prime Minister of an independent Czech Republic from 1993 to 1998.

Klaus was the principal co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, the Czech Republic's largest center-right political party. His presidency was marked by numerous controversies over his strong views on a number of issues, from global warming skepticism toeuroscepticism, and a wide-ranging amnesty declared in his last months of office.

After his presidency ended in 2013, Klaus was named a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His appointment was terminated in September 2014, due to his views on the Ukrainian crisis, his hostility to homosexuality, and support of European far right parties.

Early life

Klaus was born in Prague during the Nazi occupation, and grew up in the large (up to 1948 middle-class) Vinohrady neighborhood. According to his own words, at the age of 4 Klaus took part in building barricades during Prague uprising in May 1945.

Klaus studied what was then called "economics of foreign trade" and graduated from the University of Economics, Prague in 1963. He also spent some time at universities in Italy (1966) and at Cornell University in the United States in 1969. He then pursued a postgraduate academic career at the State Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, which, according to his autobiography, he was forcedto leave in 1970.

However, he soon obtained a position in the Czechoslovak State Bank, where he held various staff positions from 1971 to 1986. It was reported that he obtained a limited permission to travel mainly to so-called socialist foreign countries. This might have been a small privilege at that time. In 1987, Klaus joined the Institute for Prognostics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

Resignation as Prime Minister

Towards the end of 1997, Klaus was forced to step down as Prime Minister by several opponents in his party in connection with accusations of funding irregularities in the ODS.

In this time, Czech President Václav Havel heavily criticized Klaus' policy of voucher privatization of previously state-owned enterprises. This policy was designed as a cornerstone for a speedy transition from command economy to free-market economy. However, Havel blamed the voucher privatization as a reason for current economic difficulties.


Having lost two general elections in a row, Klaus's hold on the ODS appeared to become weaker, and he announced his intention to step down from the leadership and run for President to succeed Václav Havel, who had been one of his greatest political opponents. However, the governing coalition, buffeted especially by feuds within ČSSD, was unable to agree on a common candidate to oppose him.

Klaus was elected President of the Czech Republic by secret ballot of the parliament on 28 February 2003 after two failed elections earlier in the month, in the third round of the 2003 presidential election (both chambers vote on two top candidates jointly). He won with a majority of 142 votes out of 281. It was widely reported that Klaus won because of the support of Communist members of parliament, support which his opponent, Jan Sokol, publicly refused to accept. Klaus denied the charge that he owed the Communists any debt for his election.

European Parliament

On 5 December 2008, members of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament visited the Czech Republic prior to the start of the Czech presidency of the European Union. They were invited by Václav Klaus to meet him at Prague Castle. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, chairman of Green Group, brought a European flag and presented it to Klaus. Cohn-Bendit also said that he "did not care about Klaus' opinions on the Lisbon Treaty, that Klaus would simply have to sign it". This was negatively commented in the Czech Republic as an undue interference in Czech affairs. Co-president of the Independence/Democracy parliamentary group, Nigel Farage, compared Cohn-Bendit's actions to a "German official from seventy years ago or a Soviet official from twenty years ago.

Further, then Irish MEP Brian Crowley told Klaus that the Irish people wanted ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon and were "insulted" by Klaus' association with Declan Ganley andLibertas. Klaus responded that "the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the results of the Irish referendum". Crowley replied, "You will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best." In the UK the confrontative atmosphere of this meeting was criticized by some of the media: "This bizarre confrontation ... confirms the inability of the Euro-elite to accept that anyone holds views different from their own."

Signing the Lisbon treaty

Klaus long refused to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, being the last head of state in the EU to provide a signature. Other European leaders ignored his reluctance, making it clear that they would not consent to be "held hostage" by the Czech President. Czech Prime Minister of that time Jan Fischer, however, was confident that Klaus would eventually sign the Lisbon treaty, saying: "There is no reason for anxiety in Europe. The question is not Yes or No, it is only when."

As early as in November 2008 Klaus said in an interview with the Czech Television:

I can only repeat aloud one of my verdicts. If indeed all agree that the Lisbon Treaty is a 'golden nut' for Europe that must be, and that there is only one single person who would block it, and that person is the Czech president, so this is what I will not do. This is all.

Václav Klaus signed Lisbon treaty on 3 November 2009, with protest against decision of Constitutional court of Czech republic. However he never signed addition to Lisbon Treaty, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). So did his follower in the president office, Miloš Zeman.

Russian oil and gas supplies

On some issues like energy policy, Klaus has sought cooperation with Russia.

In the 1990s, Klaus promoted renewed oil and gas agreements between the Czech Republic and Russia. He was at that time, for economic reasons, reluctant to seek other energy sources. He was rather negative towards the construction of a pipeline between the Czech Republic and Germany. According to former Czech secret service directors, he was allegedly warned by the secret service of Russian organized crime spreading in the Czech economy. In one scheme, oil was imported to the Czech Republic as heating oil and re-sold as diesel, which created huge profits for Russian entrepreneur Semion Mogilevich.

Later, Klaus was characterized by The Economist as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's "warmest admirers abroad".Furthermore, Klaus obtained the 2007 Pushkin Medal for the promotion of Russian culture from President Putin. It was suggested that this was due to his use of Russian language in conversations with Putin and Russian diplomats. According to Klaus, as far as Russia is concerned there have been "challenges and successes, tremendous successes".

Otherwise, in a May 2009 interview for Lidové noviny, Klaus said Russia was not a threat but still a big, strong and ambitious country, of which the Czech authorities should beware more than the likes of Estonia and Lithuania should.

Criticism of theories of anthropogenic global warming

Klaus is a strong critic of the theories that any global warming is anthropogenic. He has also criticized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that some other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming being anthropogenic because "a whip of political correctness strangles their voices."

In addition he says, "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences" along with other "isms" such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. Klaus said that "environmentalism is a religion" and, answering questions of U.S. Congressmen, a "modern counterpart of communism" that seeks to change peoples' habits and economic systems.

In a June 2007 Financial Times article, Klaus called ambitious environmentalism "the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, market economy and prosperity". He hinted at present political and scientific debates on environment issues as a design to suppress freedom and democracy, and asked the readers to oppose the term "scientific consensus", adding that "it is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority". In an online Q&A session following the article he wrote "Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology... Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism has made me oversensitive in this respect." He reiterated these statements at a showing ofMartin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle organised by his think tank CEP in June 2007.

In November 2007 BBC World's Hardtalk Klaus called the interviewer "absolutely arrogant" for claiming that a scientific consensus embracing the bulk of the world had been reached on climate change. He added that he was "absolutely certain" that in 30 years people would look back and express their thanks to him for his stands.

At a September 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Klaus spoke of his disbelief in global warming, calling for a second IPCC to be set up to produce competing reports, and for countries to be left alone to set their priorities and prepare their own plans for the problem.

In 2007, Klaus published a book titled Modrá, nikoli zelená planeta (literally "Blue planet – not green"). The book has been translated from the Czech into various languages. The title in English, which is not a direct translation, is "Blue Planet in Green Shackles". It claims that "The theory of global warming and the hypothesis on its causes, which has spread around massively nowadays, may be a bad theory, it may also be a valueless theory, but in any case it is a very dangerous theory."

At the September 2009 UN Climate Change Conference, Klaus again voiced his disapproval, calling the gathering "propagandistic" and "undignified."

On 26 July 2011 at the National Press Club Address, Klaus pronounced himself again against global warming calling it "a communist conspiracy".

On 21 May 2012 Klaus addressed the climate sceptic Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7).

In August 2012 he delivered the Magistral Lecture to the World Federation of Scientists in Erice, Sicily.

Other activities

In 1995, as Prime Minister, Klaus was awarded the title of Professor of Finance from his alma mater, so he is sometimes addressed as "Mr. Professor" as is customary in the Czech Republic. Since that time Klaus occasionally teaches seminars in economics at the University of Economics. He focuses on his free-market opinions.

His defining issue as economist since 1990 has been his enthusiasm for the free market economy as exemplified by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. According to Klaus, legislation and institutions cannot be created before economic transformation, they have to go hand in hand.

Since 1990, Václav Klaus has received nearly 50 honorary degrees, among them one from Universidad Francisco Marroquín, and published more than 20 books on various social, political, and economic topics. Klaus is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He published articles in the libertarian Cato Journal. On 28 May 2008, Klaus gave the keynote address at an annual dinner hosted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market advocacy group in Washington, D.C., and received its Julian L. Simon Memorial Award.

Klaus was also elected to become a foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2009.

In April 2011, Klaus was seen taking a pen during a state visit to Chile. The alleged theft, caught on television cameras, was widely reported around the world and has been dubbed an "international event" causing a "diplomatic stir". According to Klaus, the event was exaggerated, because official pens are normally free to be taken by official visitors and this one was not an exception.

Anti-Ukrainian sentiments

On 9 September 2014 in interview to the Czech radio "Radio Impulse", Václav Klaus stated that Ukraine is an artificially created state and that the Russian intervention in the country was part of a civil war. In his opinion, "Maidan" was an artificial event created by the West and the United States and Russia was forced to intervene. Klaus also said that Ukraine lacks strong ties to keep country together.

Alleged extramarital affairs

It has been claimed that Klaus had several extramarital affairs. The extramarital affairs, if they have occurred, had no lasting impact on his married life.

The first alleged relationship might have been in 1991 with 29-year-old flight attendant Eva Svobodová. In summer 2002, Klaus was photographed by a tabloid as having a "special relationship" with 24-year-old economics student Klára Lohniská.

In March 2008, Novinky.cz, citing a tabloid, claimed that Klaus spent the night after his second presidential inauguration (7 March 2008) with 25-year-old flight attendant Petra Bednářová. A tabloid reported in August 2011 that the affair of Klaus with Bednářová was continuing. In July 2013, Klaus and Bednářová (now referred to as his mistress) were reported to be still together.


The object of mass VOTE: 

Václav Klaus.  

Czech Republic

Rate the damage it causes (does not cause) the object of VOTE to the European Commonwealth.

Method of ethical VOTE is to choose one of the following  values:

 0 - moral, there is no prejudice to the European community;
-1, -2, -3 - minor damage, harm to the European community;
-4, -5, -6 - damage of medium gravity for the European community;
-7, -8, -9, -10 - substantial damage, harm to the European community.


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