oral consequences by his willingness to act as a check on Prime Minister Zeman’s prerogatives of power.

“He was the one who assumed responsibility and took action, not Havel. Havel commented and schemed, but he didn’t participate in the world of politics. His image was good, especially in the US, thanks to a lobby and circles of influence paid for out of his country’s pocket. But the person actually responsible for the new Czech Republic and its way of life,” Meciar emphasized, “has been Vaclav Klaus.”

“Everyone in my family who’s able to see and speak thinks very highly of Klaus. I spent a nervous Friday waiting for the results of the election, hoping it would turn out the way it did. I swear, I actually shouted out with joy!”

(Meciar also asserts that "for the moment" he is not similarly thinking about pursuing the Slovak presidency himself.)

Posted by: Z at March 5, 2003 08:50 AM

Lyle -- Fantastic. Thank you.

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 5, 2003 12:34 PM

Allo allo! And sorry for my absence -- didn't know there'd be follow-up...

Oh, those press conferences...mostly I remember being scared out of my mind that that thug was in charge. I'll try to find that piece, Matt -- sounds *very* amusing. And, gentle readers beyond this lil reunion, be assured that Matt's dispatches were the sharpest and funniest from the newly-flagged state...

Ah, Slovakia -- a loaf of bread, a jug of wine...and Milan Z. in the corner with his hand on his 9mm.

The Meciar quotes are classic -- and not *too* far off the mark, methinks. (If a monkey says 2 plus 3 = 5 it don't mean it ain't true). I admire allll sorts of things about Havel, but the democratic touch, the go out and mix up it instinct? -- this, alas, he had not.

It is, as we Bostonians say, "wicka pissa" to have a web site corner in which to chat with fellow ex-ex-pats: thanks to you, Matt, for setting it up -- and great to see the Z in print again!

Lyle, my offer of a game in Fenway Park still stands -- and Matt, if you could join us? There's the makings of a fine summer evening...

Hope to see you both in person soon!

Posted by: chandler at March 6, 2003 11:07 AM
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