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06/12/2016

Czech president ‘very happy’ with Trump win, says shares his views

Elections

Czech president ‘very happy’ with Trump win, says shares his views

Miloš Zeman

[Commission]

Czech President Miloš Zeman declared on Wednesday (9 November) he was “very happy” with Donald Trump’s election victory, saying the Republican cut through political correctness and addressed key issues like migration.

Zeman, who does not steer day-to-day policies, had already endorsed Trump in September, before his election.

“I would like to cordially congratulate Donald Trump. I had, as one of few European politicians, declared public support for this candidate… because I agree with his opinions on migration as well as the fight against Islamic terrorism,” Zeman told reporters in a rare press briefing at the Prague Castle.

Zeman’s reaction chimed with Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán but contrasted with shock in many European capitals.

From shock to delight: Member state reactions to Trump’s victory

Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections took most of the EU countries by surprise. A majority of leaders appeared apprehensive of the consequences, with the exception of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, for whom Trump’s election is “great news” and a proof that “democracy is still alive”. This article will be updated as reactions keep arriving.

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Unlike the current Czech centre-left administration, Zeman shares Trump’s warm relations toward Russian leader Vladimir Putin and opposition to liberal and academic elites.

Zeman has said that Ukraine cannot recover Crimea, which was annexed by Russia, and opposed EU sanctions against Russia. He was the only Western leader to attend the May 2015 celebrations in Moscow to mark the end of World War Two.

Crimea cannot be returned to Ukraine, Czech president says

Ukraine cannot get back the Crimea peninsula, although Russia took it by annexation, Czech President Milos Zeman was quoted as saying on Friday (9 September).

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The Czech president also made headlines when he chose to attend a rally against refugees and Islam in Prague in 2015, on the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which peacefully toppled Communism in then Czechoslovakia.

Czech president attends anti-Islam rally on Velvet Revolution anniversary

Milos Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, attended a rally against refugees and Islam in Prague on Tuesday (17 November) on the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which peacefully toppled Communism in then Czechoslovakia.

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Following criticism from Washington, Zeman banned the US ambassador from visiting his office.

Czech president bans US ambassador from Prague Castle

President Milos Zeman has “closed the door” of Prague Castle to the U.S. ambassador following comments perceived as critical of the Czech’s decision to attend a World War Two commemoration in Moscow, according to local media reports yesaterday (5 April).

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But now apparently this page is turned.

“I appreciate Donald Trump’s public demeanour, he speaks clearly, sometimes roughly, but understandably, and avoids what is sometimes called political correctness,” Zeman said.

He said the election showed American voters’ resistance to manipulation by the media, another frequent target of both Trump and Zeman.

The Czech president said he had sent congratulations to Trump and invited him to visit the Czech Republic, the birthplace of Trump’s ex-wife Ivana.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Trump had won on “aggressive populism” but added he believed the United States would remain a reliable partner and ally.