Press Conferences

5. 9. 2007 14:01

Press conference after the meeting of the government held on 5th September, 2007

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Welcome to the regular press conference after the meeting of the government. I would like to indicate that the programme of the meeting was regular, is spite of the fact that there were fewer of those points which were considered in the course of debate. I think there were about ten of them after withdrawal of one point and adding two new points. You will be certainly interested in those points which concern in particular this region. Nevertheless, the other points were important as well. We invited mayors of relevant villages to the meeting. The first part of the meeting concerned the regular information on the state of negotiation and number of connected matters. That was information for the government and also for mayors. The debate was a bit longer than it had been planned, but it was not very fierce. We debated those works, which were connected with health risks, with negative influence on the environment. You know that the first part of study on the influence on the environment is just before its finish. You know that a preliminary study on possible health risks has been submitted. In this connection we have noted that report because, as you certainly know, our counterproposal of the contract was delivered to the USA in the beginning or in mid August. Our reservations are relatively great, and so the discussion on the contract will continue according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs up to the end of this year, as we have indicated. As to the second part, I think that an important thing resulted from the second part that was reflected also in the resolution, as the Ministry of Health was assigned with a task to perform other two independent alternative assessments of health risks of emitted non-ionizating radiation by possible radar in the military area in Brdy and the subsequent monitoring, of course. This point was approved and it was an offer of the Ministry of Health. As to the second point, which had been indicated in media, we discussed establishment of a commission. The working name of the commission is Commission for Brdy Development, and it concerns affected areas. It concerns just south and southeast part of the military area Brdy, not the entire region. The discussion was on basic issues, as I have said on Monday, regardless placement of the radar base. The region has been suffering from under-funding for tens of years, since 1926 when it was established. We were discussing four possible ways of funding, absolutely standard ways, which would be concentrated to this region. First, they were regional programmes and regional funding and that is why the Regional Commissioner Bendl and his deputy Vacek were invited to participate in the work of the commission. Second, there were ministerial programmes, third, structural funds. As those small villages are not able to use them, it will be necessary to unite them, I mean for the purpose of request for structural funds, and to help them in the process of request preparation. The fourth resource should be funding which is beyond the framework of projects approved. I will not say an amount on no account. We indicated that it would be some hundreds million crowns, but I would not tell you the exact amount, in spite of the fact that the Minister of Finance have an idea on the amount. The resolution is quite clear; the government approved to establishment of the Commission for Brdy Region Development regarding the south and southeast part. It assigns ministers and the 1st Deputy Prime Minister with a task to delegate representatives for the Commission at the Deputy Minister level. It assigned a concrete task to the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Environment, to form an opinion concerning opening further parts of the military area Brdy to the public. It concerns especially the Padrť ponds, which is rather risky, and therefore those state representatives were invited. We recommend Regional Commissioners to delegate two representatives to the Commission. I think that the following part of the resolution is important, it is the principal issue I think, which we wanted to communicate, and it is that the military area will not be extended on no account; on the contrary. I think that what I told to mayors, and what was important was that we had not come to negotiate on the radar; I said perhaps would-be wittily that we negotiated on the radar with Americans. We came to negotiate, so that people would have basic guarantees and certainty of quality life, certainty that placement of the radar will not decrease quality of their lives in the sphere of health and environment; and to offer them cooperation in the region, which had been under-funded for a long time. Perhaps as late as now after those 22 visits of the Prime Minister, ministers and other state officials was possible to ascertain the real state on the spot. That is all from my side and now I will ask my colleagues for their opinions; first of all I will ask our host, exemplary host, the mayor of Slálené Poříčí Pavel Čížek to add something to my introductory speech, and then others if they want to express their opinions. One more thing, mayor, which I did not mention but I suppose we agreed on that and it was also important in spite of the fact that it did not explicitly result from the discussion, was that Tomáš Klvaňa as the government representative had confidence of the government. It is necessary to coordinate such a fragmented discussion, which concerns ten or fifteen different spheres; and we are of the opinion that Tomáš Klvaňa does it absolutely correctly. Thank you.

Pavel Čížek, Mayor of Spálené Poříčí: I would remind that there were requirements submitted to the government from the side of mayors, to explain strategic reasons to our citizens, as there are frequent question regarding this issue. It is a sensitive sphere of classified information, of course, but it was promised that through Mr. Klvaňa reasons of placement of the radar will be explained. Our local authority respects that defence issues are matters of the state, of course. The issue of a shift of the radar towards the centre of the military area was not debated, nevertheless we appreciate that a discussion has been started on opening part of the military area to the public. We mean just footslogger and cycle-tourism in the Padrť ponds area, because when other areas were opened to the public, it did not concern our area. We welcome this.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I decided to moderate this press conference, because Jana has not a microphone. Next please.

Vlasta Parkanová, Minister of Defence: I would like to say a few words on what has been mentioned here, I mean opening of certain parts of the military area Brdy to the public. As the Prime Minister said, it was assigned to me and to the Minister of Environment, in one part of the resolution, to assess possibility of further opening of the area. When I was opening certain parts of the military area here during Easter, I said that we would try to open further parts regardless possible placement of the radar. It was in April; now it is September and it is still true. As to the Padrť ponds, I would like to say frankly that it is a matter where there are still lots of problems. From the military point of view soldiers say that there is considerable pyrotechnical burden there. We must assess how big the burden is and whether it is possible to clean the area so that it would be really safe. From the point of view of environment, there are unique localities there, where very scarce plants grow and rare animals live, and I think that Minister Bursík will say something about it. But there is good will to find a common way and to satisfy people partly, at least. I can guarantee that.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I have learnt, and it was very stimulating for me, that lynx, crane, and other rare species live in this area, and therefore the environmental issue is one of issues that are solved by environmental surveys. Ivan Fuksa deputizes for Minister Kalousek. When we were deciding if it would be Mr. Janota or Mr. Fuksa who would participate in the meeting, I demanded Mr. Fuksa, as apart from the fact that he was doing military service in Strašice and was the mayor of Příbram for several years. He has been living here for more than 40 years, and I think that he will be appropriate chairman of the Commission, as he is a local person and he will guarantee financial correctness, that I insist on, of course.

Ivan Fuksa, 1st Deputy Minister of Finance: Good afternoon. As the Prime Minister said, the Ministry of Finance is ready to start funding of the fourth financial flow for this region development, which has been under-funded for many years. I have been living in the town of Příbram for more than forty years, I was a mayor, and I know this region very well. The region was greatly affected by several factors. First, there used to be the first west military zone in Příbram and there was a vast military training area under the communist regime where access was restricted, and thus life in the region was restricted as well. There was a centre of uranium industry with headquarters and some 35 uranium mines, which caused corresponding environmental burden. Adequate compensations, if any, were under the past regime directed to the Příbram region, to the town of Příbram, not to the rest of the Brdy region. There are several villages here, which are surrounded from three sides by military area. There is a parallel between Brdy and Šumava. In Šumava region lasted about five or seven years to start development of this region after the fall of so called iron curtain. And because we have very nice nature here, we do not want to build industrial zones; we want to support infrastructure for the development of the region in the sphere of so called "soft tourism".

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Vlasta Parkanová, Tomáš Klvaňa and regional commissioner Zimmermann have asked me for the floor. As to me – I told mayors that we noticed them unlike those past governments. It may have been rather unpleasant for them; nevertheless it was a result of those 22 visits. So, Vlasta Parkanová has the floor.

Vlasta Parkanová, Minister of Defence: A must add one more thing. Military areas are primary intended for training of soldiers. When we are speaking about opening them to the public, for example in the locality Padrť ponds, I must say that there is an impact area there. Artillerymen are trained there and it is an issue, which must be considered from the military point of view. According to information of the Chief of General Staff, the impact area has its border near the locality the public is interested in. I understand it and I hope we will succeed in reaching such a solution, which would not do any harm, as you certainly admit that soldiers must have a place for their training.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO (Anti-Missile Defence) Programme: I would like to emphasize one piece of information, so that it would not be forgotten. 22 delegations have visited this region since February, let alone delegation from regions. We could not count how many regional delegations were here. All these people, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, talk to citizens about these issues. Nobody can say that we do not communicate with citizens of the region. We are very glad that we have managed to organize today's meeting of the government just here in Spálené Poříčí. I thank very much the mayor Čížek and in particular, I would like to thank the Regional Commissioner Zimmermann, with whom we have been preparing this meeting for several months. We organized such a preparatory meeting. We invited similar group of mayors to Spálené Poříčí about two weeks ago, where we discussed in detail their problems, including international security, and we will continue in this effort, of course. I would just like to say that anti-missile defence or possible placement of the radar of the anti-missile defence here in Brdy concerns the entire Czech Republic, it concerns the entire European continent; it is not a regional issue and we are going to inform the public to that effect in autumn.

Petr Zimmermann, Regional Commissioner of the Plzeň Region: Good afternoon, I would like to say on behalf of the Plzeň Region, and I hope that also on behalf of the Central Bohemian Region that we, regional representatives, are prepared to be actively involved in that development programme for Brdy and I think that it is good that the programme, the first phase of which was approved today, will be implemented regardless result of negotiations with the USA and regardless result of the vote in the Parliament. Thank you.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Well, we are available. Jana Bartošová can moderate the discussion now. Your questions, please.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: I thank members of the government, I thank the Regional Commissioner of the Plzeň Region, the mayor, and now there is time for your questions. Česká televize.

Daniel Takáč, ČT: Good afternoon. I would like to ask the Prime Minister – mayors said before the negotiation that they would ask the radar to be placed nearer the centre of the military area. Can this debate continue or did you tell them straight that such a placement was not possible. And I would like to ask the mayor Čížek whether other mayors left today's meeting of the government with satisfaction. Thank you.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I will answer both questions. As to the first one, when I was here last time, we really promised to strive for shift of the locality, even though I did not understand why. There are neither big nor small problems about it. The radar will be placed in the military area, which is in the possession of the state. Nevertheless, we tried our hand at it. There were several localities assessed, and finally following of all the aspects assessment it was decided that the best one was the original variant, which had been proposed in fact by the government of Paroubek, or experts, because the Paroubek´s government negotiated on it. So, based on the assessment of these military and radar aspects, the best variant is the original one. The fact that we did not succeeded in another placement of the radar is a definite matter now. We can discus it, but as Cimrman said, and I do not mean the Regional Commissioner, that is all we can do. The locality is more advantageous because of many points of view, and these points of view were decisive. The local point of view did not win in the end. As to those mayors, our objective was not to satisfy them, the objective was to continue in the discussion. If somebody remembers the first press conference on this issue, I announced that further works and communication with people must be aimed at the development plan of Brdy region, but I regarded as superficial to offer something at those times, as I thought it would have look as if we were buying them; and I told it to mayors. Now I think that after that discussion, we are trying to change minds of people, who live here, and they were given the space to present their standpoints; we are speaking about concrete matters, concrete measures, concrete guarantees, and concrete investments. I think it is correct.

Pavel Čížek, Mayor of Spálené Poříčí: As to the concrete placement, I am discontent, of course, I mean our local authority. We asked for the shift because of security reasons. It was in the times when we had no information on health consequences. Therefore, I am glad that the basic study exists, it will be finalized and an external examiner's report will be worked out. We are waiting for these things as they are essential for us. A study on the impact on environment is being prepared, and so all the other points which were requested, with the exception of placement, were fulfilled. As to the minister – I am convinced that soldiers have a lot of areas where can do their training. There are lots of military training areas in the Czech Republic and I think that the problem was whether to give priority to the radar or to those artillerists. They were artillerists who won in this case.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I must say, mayor, that lots of military training areas have been dissolved; you do not have an idea how many of them there were. There rested only few of them, you are right.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Mr. Klvaňa wants to add something.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: I would just like to specify the study. There have been several steps being planned for a long time, which are to assure both local inhabitants and all the inhabitants of the Czech Republic about the following facts. First, that there is no information that radar would do any harm to environment or health of citizens. We have worked out preliminary assessment for the present, according to which it was clear that it was like that. But it was just preliminary assessment, a theoretical one. It was signed by the Chief Hygienist, by the Chief Army Hygienist; the assessment was worked out by reputable experts. The second step will be the visit of experts both our experts, whether it concerned government, civil or army experts, and independent experts from universities on Marshall Islands, where our own measurements of the radar will be done and thus those theoretical information will be either confirmed or refuted. And the third step would be the decision of the Parliament on the placement of the anti-missile defence system in the Czech Republic. Then the radar would be transported and constructed, testing regime would be performed and even after further measurements, after reaching certainty that all matters are in compliance with the Czech hygienic norms, the government would agree with its operation. The prime Minister said unambiguously that if information occurs on harmfulness of the radar on environment or people, the radar would not be placed here. That was assurance of the government, which was presented at today's meeting.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. Mladá fronta has a question.

Jan Gazdík, MfD: Good afternoon. I would like to ask you, Prime Minister and also you, mayor about the development programme of the Brdy region. It is likely to be interesting; could you specify it a little? What spheres those investments will be directed to? I do not want you to specify the individual channels I would like to have just rough information. That was one question. And the second one – how do you perceive that pressure? When you were going to this mansion, you passed through crowds of people and the same is waiting for you when you go to lunch; I do not mean it in a sensation-lovely way, but the pressure is quite considerable. Perhaps you did not notice certain arguments. Are you going to discuss with those people?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: As to your first question, the answer is rather simple, in spite of the fact that I am not able to specify exactly the respective spheres before starting activities of that commission. Those spheres are predetermined by participants of the commission. It will be the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Regional Development, who will guarantee possibility to use structural funds and to help in searching some co-financing possibilities. It will be the Minister of Environment, as there is a problem that concerns sewages plants. It will certainly be the Minister of Agriculture; it has connection with the EAFRD Programme for rural development and number of other projects, which concern agriculture activities on the farm land. Other spheres will involve transport projects, which will concern perhaps broader area, not only roads of the 1st and 2nd class, but also local roads. The Ministry of Transport has an exact survey of these needs prepared and it is negotiating with mayors about it. It will concern, I have it written here by the Minister of Defence, issues concerning opening some areas to public, which could mean tourism development. Also the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs will be a member of the commission. From this composition it is evident that it will concern nearly all the spheres, and as I already have indicated, it will be multi-resource funding. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that the Brdy development plan seems to be non-standard, methods of funding will be standard ones. It means that it will be done purposefully, that we will try to concentrate financial means, which would have been in a standard case concentrated slowly, in this region in a short time. I think it was necessary to say about this issue. As to the second question, I do not think it is something abnormal. I remember demonstrations, which were presented on TV under the totalitarian regime, when some nuclear waste was to be transported or some nuclear power station was to be opened. I think it belongs to democracy, those people have right to express their opinion, some of them have very extreme opinions, some of them are afraid of something and therefore they express their opinions. Communication with those who want to communicate will be rewarding. Number of those people do not want to communicate, they want just to protest; then it is good to leave them protesting unless they do not destroy private of state property and endanger lives of people. It is an attribute of democracy. I did not have any special feelings, I feel responsibility for the final decision in which I will have my share, whether it will be in the government or in the Parliament; I am aware of those risks. I am doing that just for this reason.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Mr. Klvaňa.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: I think that it is rather important issue. We appreciate every opinion, which is presented during the debate and we listen to it attentively. We do not have a feeling that the same approach is used in case of our objectors; that they listen to our arguments, our opinions. But it is like that in democracy. You know, if the radar is here, it will be part of the anti-missile system of the continent, which will be defend our system and our values and also our right to present our own opinions, against fanatics, against Islamic maniacs who do not care whether we demonstrate freely or not. They would like to withdraw this right from us. I think it is exactly what our society consists in. They present their views and the government acts to ensure our security.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. The TV Prima.

Tomáš Drahoňovský, TV Prima: I would have two questions, which concern deadlines. First, when the Commission for the Brdy Region Development is to have its session? And the second question is of a long-term time horizon – when the international treaty will be passed to the Parliament? Do you have an idea when the measurement of experts and discussions with mayors will be finished?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Yes, I have already indicated in my introductory speech. As to the first question, we did not expect mayors to be able to specify names of their representatives. They said they would have a meeting next week. So, I expect that the commission will be established by a fortnight, as here we just adopted a decision on establishing the commission. Nevertheless, the commission must be established, its statute must be approved, as well as its competences. It will not have decisive competences to the effect of using funds. It should determine priorities in negotiations with representatives of ministries; it should specify the amounts which, are to be allocated, to the respective spheres. There is no reason here why not to submit it to the government by two weeks. It will be very quick process. Number of matters is already prepared. Ministers and their officials have this sphere mapped out in a very detailed way. That was answer to the first question. As to the second question, I have already indicated it. Minister Schwarzenberg, he wants to say something about it and I think he should be given the floor, thinks that the number of reservations to the original proposal of the USA regarding those presidential treaties, but also to those standard treaties is such high that we do not expect we could manage it by the end of the year. I think that it should be clear by the end of the year what the treaty framework will look like and then we will continue in a standard way. It follows the plan but it is not very easy. We did not expect it would be easy. Our counterproposals are relatively serious and we will see what the response of the American side will be like.

Karel Schwarzenberg, minister of Foreign Affairs: I would like to say something concerning the previous question. Of course I am interested in opinions of our objectors and I have taken over a material, I think it was a material of Greenpeace, which was handed over to me, but still I am convinced that for the security of the Czech Republic, for the security of the European continent and also our allies over the ocean, the radar will necessary in the future. I know that it will not be necessary in some three or five years, but the development in many countries, in Asia but also in other areas is so fast that the radar will be necessary in the future; and we must be prepared for it. You perhaps think that I find those debates very amusing – to discuss with my colleagues from the EU why we are doing it. Great majority of them agrees with us, anyway; we are exchanging experience with Englishmen and Danes, where similar radar is placed. So, we have information enough that it is a system, which is meaningful, which will be necessary in the future. I know that it would be easier for this government and also for the Minister of Foreign Affairs not to participate in the fight for the radar; nevertheless it is included in the job description of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ensure security of the Czech Republic for the future. It also means to anticipate development in the following five or ten years, if possible. Following information which is available I am convinced that we should participate in this project, but it does not mean, as the Prime Minister indicated, that we will accept all conditions that comes from the other side of the ocean. We have our own ideas, we want to enforce them and therefore we expect that negotiations will be very hard. But you cannot have all thing served on a silver tray, it is necessary to enforce them. Therefore I expect longer negotiation. I hope that good results will be reached and that the Parliament of the Czech Republic will take its responsibility for the security of this country into consideration and that it will not vote according momentary disposition, not according to prospects for next election. Thank you.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Just to add something to this, I do not know who is outside, perhaps there are local inhabitants there, but perhaps there are young communists, members of Islamic foundation or society of Julius Fučík of representatives of Humanistic Party or terrorist movements. I think that the problem is with whom to discuss, who accepts the discussion and who wants to argue trying to find a solution. I would give an example; the founder of Greenpeace has published a book recently, the title of which is Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy. I think that everybody has a right to have it own opinion, everybody has right to change opinion and the discussion is necessary.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. The Minister of Defence has the floor.

Vlasta Parkanová, Minister of Defence: It was mentioned here that mayors were to meet some time. I know the exact date, as the mayor of Strašice invited me to it, and I would come. It will be next Thursday at noon in Strašice. As to those who are outside and with whom we can meet in Spálené Poříčí, I was pleased by receiving an e-mail from the headmaster of the elementary school. It was not organized by anybody, nobody coordinated anything. The headmaster invited me to his school among his pupils, as part of children, which can sing in the group of singers "Stonožka" and "Stonožka is a choir, with which the Ministry of Defence has been cooperating for a long time. So, if you want to know what it awaiting me, I will go to school and perhaps I will sing together with children of Stonožka.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: We were afraid of it a bit, Vlasta.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: The Minister of defence will be negotiating with mayors at high noon. I hope she will leave her weapon at home.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. This man raised his hand and then Česká televize.

Journalist, press agency Itar-Tass: Prime Minister, what is your opinion of the attitude of Russia to the radar base and to the relationships with Russia. Thank you.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: The simpler answer is to the second question. I think that that our relationships with Russia are slightly above-standard. We have no illusion on mutual relationships and we prefer, especially with the Russian Federation, those economic relationships without disturbing the political ones. I do not regard this matter as that which could worsen these relationships. It is obvious that Russia has no interest in construction of the radar in Brdy woods, and if you would like to hear an explanation of a political science, I would do a lecture on demarcation line Plzeň–Rokycany, on liberalization of Prague by Vlasov army and then by the Soviet army. I could do a lecture on the issue of 21st August 1968 and missiles SS 20 in barracks in this region which were directed to West-European cities, I could do a lecture of different type. Let us try to reach an agreement that the radar in Brdy equals to shift of demarcation line from the line Plzeň–Rokycany a bit further. I think that the geopolitical importance of this construction is far more important than other aspects. If it is enough for you, perhaps I will meet the Deputy Prime Minister Nariškin, who will arrive from Russia. I will certainly consult all those matters with him. Our interest is not to worsen our relationships with Russia; we will not be doing anything to worsen them.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, Česká televize.

Luboš Rosí, ČT: I would like to ask the Prime Minister – you said that a communication those who wanted to communicate would be rewarding. I would like to know if a selection occurred among mayors, as to with whom you would communicate and with whom you will not communicate. There are mayors who wanted to negotiate with you; they established the League of Mayors. For example the mayor of Příbram, who is in the head of the League, was not invited and he was not allowed to take part in the meeting today. Why?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: No selection has occurred, as we invited mayors of affected villages and only the mayor of Trokavec, Mr. Neoral did not come. I do not anything about his reasons. I think I would forgive him his statements concerning my person, which were nearly actionable. Nevertheless, he was invited. The mayor of Příbram and by the way the deputy for the ČSSD, Mr. Řihák was not invited, because he is not a representative of affected villages, which the plan for Brdy region development concerns. The fact that mayors established some League of Mayors s connected with my previous answer. We invited neither enemies of the radar nor its upholders. We wanted to negotiate on the future of the Brdy region with mayors of those villages, which the problem directly concerns. It was not the case of the mayor of Příbram.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: The mayor will add something.

Pavel Čížek, Mayor of Spálené Poříčí: Just briefly, mayors were really invited according to the geographical principle and there were number of representatives among them, who signed joining the League.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: If the question was why the mayor of Rokycany had not been present, it would be the same. The problem just does not concern him now.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Now I ask for last two or three questions.

Journalist, periodical of Greenpeace: I have one question. You say that you are willing to negotiate with enemies of the radar, but I have different experience. We invited Mr. Klvaňa and Minister Parkanová, and they refused to come. Does it mean that Mr. Klvaňa will invite also enemies of the radar to his information tour and will debate with them at those public discussions?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I do not think you understood well what the problem was. We negotiate on the radar with Americans. This is the key negotiation, which we want to lead. We want to inform the public, whether the public is for or against the radar, on all the related aspects. We want to guarantee them that this radar which will be constructed in the state territory, as the military training area is a state territory, will not impair their health, that it will not impair environment and that it will not decrease quality of their lives. I am interested in your possible negative standpoint, it is true, but I do not negotiate with you about construction of the radar; we negotiate with the USA.

Journalist, periodical of Greenpeace: We did not understand each other. You claimed that you would debate with enemies of the radar.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: You did not understand me; I said it was use to communicate with those who wanted to communicate and that the objective of the communication was to assure citizens of the Czech Republic, and of course those living abroad, that no danger threatened; on the contrary – that their security would be increased and thus also the quality of their lives. It is worth the effort.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: So as it would not look like avoiding the discussion – I debate with enemies of the radar I speak to people, who are interested. I can consult my diary and we can arrange a debate. There is no problem here, except the time.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. The TV Nova.

Lucie Brunclíková, TV Nova: I would like to ask a question the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence, as I was speaking about it with Mr. Klvaňa. Citizens complaint that the government did not explain them why the radar is to be placed here. You rented a PR agency, so what the advantages will be like for citizens of the Czech Republic, apart from those security risks, as no missiles are flying here for the present.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: It would be late to wait for missiles, but I will leave the answer to the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: It would be late to wait for missiles. The security risks exist, of course, and they are specified in number of studies; some of them are public, some of them are classified. Those which are classified cannot be de-classified. It means that a real risk exists, and we were speaking about it at the meeting of the government; it concerned also public information, when for example the Iranian president announced that he would put into operation 150 centrifuges every week. It means that there are real risks here. We have experience, I mean our country, as it became several times in its history a victim of appeasement, or victim of underestimation of a danger. I could describe several situations of this type from our history, but we will not make the same mistake. I think we cannot afford to make again those repeated mistakes of the past, first of them was for example the year 1938 and I could continue. The fact that we are part of a geopolitical complex, that we have our allied commitments, that we feel responsibility, and that we as the government have duty to defend citizens of the Czech Republic and the Czech Republic itself against external danger – all that led us, as well as the government of Špidla, the government of Gross and the government of Paroubek, to defend ourselves against those risks, which were defined and which could constitute potential risk in five, ten or fifteen years as a maximum. We want to face these risks and therefore we agree with placement of the radar, which is to ensure anti-missile defence of the European continent, in the Czech territory. We could speak about further aspects, of course, which could lead to unequal position on NATO members, when one part of NATO, let us say the USA would be protected by thee umbrella, while European allies would not be protected. It could lead to division of NATO in the end and it could lead to different opinion on security issues. And it is not our objective. This government is aware of responsibility for our future in the following five, ten or fifteen years. We do not want to repeat those mistakes made in the past; we do not want to find out after fifteen years that we will not be able to face the risk anticipated.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, the last question, please.

Vladimír Šnídl, Hospodářské noviny: Good afternoon. I would have a question either to Mr. Topolánek or to Mr. Klvaňa, even though he did not want to speak about it yesterday. Can you tell us how that company AMI Communication for communication on the radar was chosen? There are two versions here. According to the first one, there was a tender with five participants and the government chose one of them. According to the second version the government offered this contract to five companies, four of them refused, one of them rested and was awarded a contract.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: I will disappoint you. The government did not deal with it at all. I had such information, but I did not regard it as important. There are five or ten agencies in the Czech territory, which are worth cooperation. About nine of them cooperate with the ČSSD, that was a kind of joke, and we chose the last one. I know all of them. The AMI Communication is a guaranty for me that those issues will be communicated and that the agency will manage it. I do not really know why to award a contract to Ogilvy or some other company. Simply said, they were chosen and it was not our decision or the decision of the government; it was within competences of Mr. Klvaňa.

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: So as to avoid doubts, because as I can see various rumours are here – a normal tender was advertised, according to law it was small tender below 2 million crowns. We addressed five big companies and only one offer arrived within those ten days, which were absolutely enough. It was an offer of AMI Communications, which met all the requirements of the law, including price. We are glad that it was this company which entered as the only one agency the tender; it is perhaps rather sensitive issue for the PR agencies. I am glad that the most reputable and the biggest Czech company want to cooperate with us. It is purely service matter, and it is me who goes on being responsible for the communication. You will not come into the contact with the AMI at all.

Vladimír Šnídl, Hospodářské noviny: Do you deduce that some firms refused your offer?

Tomáš Klvaňa, Government Representative for Communication on the PRO Programme: I do not know it; I received the only one answer before the deadline and we had addressed five companies. I do not know why the other refused. I was not in contact with any company.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: The last question.

Jan Šinágl, internet news: Good afternoon. I would like to ask you, Prime Minister for brief standpoint regarding the suspicion of senator Štětina that the KSČM committed high treason as they refuse the radar construction. The senator submitted a request to the Parliamentary Institute, and the Parliamentary Institute expressed its meaning saying that refusal of the radar base could affect to a certain extent defendability of the state. The crime of high treason could not be committed by the mentioned way, as the act was not done in connection with foreign power and defendability was not breached violently. Senator adds that the KSČM is constantly trying to breach defendability by their programme documents through which they strive to part with NATO. I myself think that it is the high treason. What is you opinion?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: There are similarly strong opinions on both sides. I think that the radar construction means confirmation of our values, conformation of our unity with west civilization, and thus prevention of possible communist totalitarian regime in the future. Nevertheless it is in the figurative meaning. I cannot say whether it accomplishes body of the crime. As I have already said, we also expect young communists to be outside and number of organizations which are connected with the KSČM. They are people who refuse the radar because of obvious reasons. They have never reconciled themselves with November 1989. I can understand it, but I do not know whether they accomplish body of the crime. I do not think so. Democratic country has unfortunately certain elements of self-destruction, which are embodied just in those democratic elements, and this is one of them. They have right to say some things in spite of the fact that we do not agree with them.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. The Minister of defence will add something.

Vlasta Parkanová, Minister of Defence: I would just say that to decide whether certain action and certain behaviour is a crime or not is a matter of investigative prosecuting and adjudicating bodies. Therefore we have prosecuting attorney's offices and other institution. It differs if either political or legal aspects are considered.

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: In conclusion I would ask the mayor of Spálené Poříčí for a few words.

Pavel Čížek, Mayor of Spálené Poříčí: I thank the government of the Czech Republic for holding its session in our town, that all the issues were debated. Number of issues has not been solved, of course. Therefore I welcome possibility of further communication with various groups and initiatives, and I welcome explanation to the public, as I do not think that we in the Czech Republic are prepared for discussion on issues of defence. It is not poplar in our country. Pre-election discussions are aimed rather at the fact whether our public welfare will be a bit higher or lower. It is only just that these issues are debated and it would be good to continue in it. Thank you.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek: Thank you, too, and I wish you to have a nice day.

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