English Pages, 27. 5. 2019
I am honoured to be asked to say a few words on the occasion of the National Day of Argentina, the day when you remember and celebrate the historic revolution which paved the way to the independence of Argentina. Your country won the independence a century before my country.
In spite of the huge geographical distance your country is the traditional partner and friend of the Czech Republic. One hundred years ago your country – as Czechoslovakia – belonged to the most developed countries of the world. Both our countries were heavily affected by the World Depression as well as by decades of political dictatorships which followed. We – in the Czech Republic – have the feeling that our two countries lost in the international comparison more than any other developed country of the world.
The huge economic potential of Argentina motivated many Czechs to come to your country and to stay there. The people of the Czech origin – at least 50 thousand of them – were always an important connecting line between our two countries.
Both our countries made a fundamental economic transformation in the last decades. This topic was the main issue during my first visit to Argentina – as Prime Minister – in 1994. We all know that Argentina chose a non-traditional way of fighting inflation by means of the Currency Board which created a heavy crisis. I remember I tried to use my economic background to tell President Menem how risky this arrangement is.
My second visit to Argentina – as President of the Republic – was in 2011. I visited not only Buenos Aires. I had a unique chance to see also Patagonia with its beautiful mountains, lakes and icebergs.
I wish Argentina a strong democracy and a successful economic growth. I am convinced that our mutual relations will be growing as well.
Václav Klaus, Argentina National Day Reception, Novoměstská radnice, Praha, 27. května 2019.
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