Will Petr Pavel bring change to the Czech Republic?
Petr Pavel was sworn in as Czech president in Prague on Thursday. Unlike his predecessors, the 61-year-old former Nato general is considered pro-Western and pro-European. Commentators anticipate a return to the values cherished by Václav Havel which were put on the backburner over the past two decades.
Things can only get better
Hospodářské noviny is relieved:
“If we look at what the two previous presidents Václav Klaus and Miloš Zeman did with the country, the results are not good. They pushed us to the edge of the EU and into Putin’s arms. ... In this sense Petr Pavel will have it easy. Even if he did nothing at all he would still be a better president than those two put together. Today just breathing is easier. We will no longer need to avoid the president’s speeches for the sake of our mental health, or feel ashamed in advance but surprised nonetheless at the nonsense we hear.”
Havel’s legacy will be revived
Pravda expects a policy more oriented towards human rights:
“Václav Klaus concentrated on criticising the European Union and Miloš Zeman on promoting relations with China, Russia and other post-Soviet republics. Pavel will probably return to Václav Havel’s foreign policy in which, among other things, human rights once more come to the fore. In addition, the transatlantic partnership will play an important role. On the other hand, cooperation within the Visegrád format is likely to weaken because Prague stands to have less good relations with Budapest.”