English Pages, 28. 10. 2006
Today we, in the Czech Republic, celebrate the Czech National Day. It could be as well called The Day of Independence, or The Czech Day of Independence or perhaps The Day of the Republic, because we celebrate both - our independence, gained after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the birth of the republic after centuries of nondemocratic monarchical regimes.
We consider this day to be one of the most important days in our history and I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation and for being with us today.
It is an occasion to remember those who were fighting for our independence and liberty in both the First and Second World Wars, as well as in the period of the totalitarian communist regime. It is as well an occasion to recall the ideas on which the Czech, originally Czechoslovak Republic was born.
It should be stressed that thanks to the authority, respect and diplomatic efforts of Thomas Garrigue Masyryk, of his close collaborators in the exile Milan Rastislav Štefánik and Edvard Beneš, and of other Czech and Slovak politicians, our independent republic was born in a fully peacefull way and that our forefathers succeeded in rapidly establishing its functional institutional framework.
It should be also mentioned that our republic went through very complicated times in the first 88 years of its existence and that the 20th century was not always kind to us but – as you know – we became, 17 years ago, a free, democratic and sovereign country again.
I believe, the Czech Republic is seen by all of you as a reliable partner and as a friendly country. I hope my frequent trips abroad and the visits of foreign heads of states and heads of government at the Prague Castle demonstrate my and our willingness to enhance the quality of our mutual relations.
I am sure you follow with interest and understanding political, social and economic developments in our country and hope that you interpret them in your countries in a friendly way. The very unique results of our parliamentary elections in June created a problem which – I hope – will be solved in the near future. I can assure you that there will be no change in our basic – both domestic and foreign – policy orientation whatever ruling coalition will be finally formed.
Let me conclude by expressing my thanks to you for everything you have been doing for a successful development of relations between your countries and the Czech Republic. I wish you success in your further activities here. I am looking forward to see you in the Prague Castle tonight again.
Václav Klaus, Prague Castle, Rothmayer Hall, October 28, 2006
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