Vaclav Klaus was interviewed by Juri Kotner for COMPACT-Magazine during the Valdai Forum in October, 2015. Vaclav Klaus had a prominent role in European politics for decades. He was Minister President of Czech Republik from 1992 to 1998 and Head of Parliament from 1998 to 2002. Finally from 2003 to 2013, Vaclav Klaus was President of the Czech Republic.
Longstanding former Czech President Vaclav Klaus keeps on fighting. He envisions the threat of a self- destructing Europe brought on by the politics of Berlin and Brussels, which is characterized by a confrontation with Russia, the catastrophic EURO currency, and particularly by the uncontrolled influx of refugees.
What is your opinion about the concept of a pan-European economic union reaching from Lisbon to Vladivostok?
Vaclav Klaus: Look, I am a realist and a pragmatic politician. In my eyes this concept is, for the time being, not the issue we need solve right now and should solve right now. I would go for a complete liberalization of economic borders and the free market. A common “European House” has always been the basic idea from Mikhail Gorbachev, but this is not the prevailing issue of today. Right now we have to solve “smaller” but nevertheless more important problems. Anything else would be pure idealism and naivety. First and foremost, we have to suspend the disastrous sanctions against Russia.
What other major problems would you see for Europe?
Vaclav Klaus: Europe must survive! This is the most overwhelming and most important issue of them all! The concept of Europe has been sabotaged. First we see the catastrophic common currency of the EURO. Second, we are facing the Ukraine crisis. And finally, the worst issue is the migration crisis. All these problems are tragic failures brought on by European politicians lead by Mrs. Angela Merkel. Europe must not be destroyed, but I am afraid that we are heading to a point of no return.
When looking at the current mass integration do you think this poses a threat to the European tradition of Christianity?
Vaclav Klaus: Absolutely! I would agree 100 percent. And I cannot understand how Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Gauck can be so totally ignorant. They are completely naïve!
Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Gauck – whose interests do they represent? European interests…?
Vaclav Klaus: This is definitely not the case! To that I have to add something. Often you hear from the politicians that “the Europeans” want this and “the Europeans” want that. But there is no “one type of European citizen”. This is a false identity and I hope I never used this term. Instead of the one type of European we see various types of people in Europe. I myself am living in Europe, I am a citizen of Prague, a citizen of the Czech Republic, a citizen of Middle Europe – that is primarily important. The identity with Europe is secondary. I would be 100 percent for a Europe of strong nation states. I disapprove any form of “political correctness” and this is true since my time as President of the Republic and as Minister President.
Whose goal is it to have a centralized European Super State?
Vaclav Klaus: First of all, naive European politicians have this in mind, and further, less naïve political commissioners. On the other hand, I am sure that the U.S. has a hand in this game. Henry Kissinger asked 45 years ago, “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?” For the U.S., it would be complicated to deal with 30 single nations individually. That’s why it’s much more convenient for them to address its demands and wishes to one supranational European institution and channel Europe in a certain direction.
Do you think that the Russian military engagement in Syria has a stabilizing effect on the flow of Syrian refugees?
Vaclav Klaus: At the beginning of the so-called Syrian civil war, there were millions of refugees who stayed in Middle East and Turkey. What’s “different” from that right now? The massive flow of refugees coming to Europe. This statement may sound trivial, but I am convinced that this flood of refugees is not by accident and I am convinced there is a master plan behind it. Why is this happening right now and not years before? Who has invited these people? Who has forced and motivated these people to move towards Europe right now? These disturbing events have nothing to do with the Russian engagement in Syria.
But if this is true – who is to blame for the flood of refugees?
Why don’t you pose this question to Ms Merkel or Mr Gauck…?