November 4, 2014

Zeman cannot control himself, analysts say

Experts have diverging views on reason behind Czech president’s vulgar public speech

Prague, Nov. 3 (ČTK) — Czech President Miloš Zeman is losing self-control, political scientist Rudolf Kučera told the Czech News Agency today in reaction to the vulgar words Zeman used in a radio interview this past Sunday, Nov. 2.

Moreover, incompetent advisers are harming Zeman, Kučera added.

In his regular “Talks From Lány” interview on public Czech Radio, Zeman repeatedly used vulgarisms. Speaking about, for example, the recently passed civil service law and the Russian female punk band Pussy Riot, Zeman used words such as “fucked up,” “shit,” and also the rudest Czech translation of the term “pussy.”

He justified it by saying [conservative opposition] TOP 09 Chairman Karel Schwarzenberg also uses these words from time to time. Since Schwarzenberg is popular [among students and intellectuals] in Prague cafés, Zeman said he wanted to emulate him, he said.

“He seems to be losing self-control,” Kučera said.

This may be happening as a result of Zeman’s unfavorable health condition or extraordinarily bad advisers, and he should replace all of them, Kučera said.

Another political analyst, Petr Just, said Zeman might have used vulgarisms in an effort to create something new for the media to focus on instead of other sensitive issues, such as his controversial flight from a visit to China aboard the private jet of a billionaire with deep ties to China or the undignified sports clothes that Zeman’s favorite filmmaker Robert Sedláček wore during the awards ceremony on the Oct. 28 national holiday, where many individuals were honored by the state for their role in shaping Zeman’s image.

“If this was really Zeman’s plan, he chose a rather unfortunate way, because with [these words] he disgraced not only himself but also the office of the president,” Just said.

He said he considers the wave of criticism that followed Zeman’s interview quite appropriate.

On the other hand, political analyst Miroslav Mareš said he does not believe Zeman wanted to divert attention from affairs such as his visit to China.

“Maybe he was in a mood that prompted his tongue to say it. However, why he said it, this is a question for him to answer,” Mareš said.

Political analyst Zdeněk Zbořil says Zeman’s critics will find reason to criticize him in his use of language in the notorious interview. For others, his words may prove that he has stood up to [conservative opposition TOP 09 influential deputy head] Miroslav Kalousek and has come closer to the people, said.

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