Prague - Milos Zeman took the presidential oath of office and was sworn in today as the new president of the Czech Republic. The ceremony took place in Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle. Zeman was accompanied by his wife Ivana and daughter Katerina. As he swore the oath of office, 21 cannon rounds were fired from the Petrin hill.
In his inaugural speech, Zeman outlined three basic goals of his presidency. The first goal is to calm down and stabilize the Czech political scene. "I offer Prague Castle as neutral ground for the discussion of all political parties, but also other important social organizations, be it labor unions, employers' associations and other institutions," said Zeman.
Zeman described himself as a "president that is neither directly nor indirectly connected with any parliamentary party", and offered himself as a "mediator".
The second goal outlined by Zeman is to support "islands of positive deviation." As an example of such "islands", Zeman mentioned the entrepreneurs who pay taxes and create new jobs, the mayors who improve their municipalities and cities, or important personalities from the fields of education, health care, science, culture or sport.
The new president's third goal is to fight against "islands of negative deviation". According to Zeman there are three such islands. The first and the most dangerous one are "godfather mafias, which parasite on the body of Czech society, suck the blood out of this body and do not give any added value back to this society, either in the form of new investments or by paying taxes properly." Zeman said that the best weapon to fight these groups is a law on the declaration of the origin of incomes and property and a possibility to seize illegally obtained property.
The second island of negative deviation are neo-Nazi groups, "whose members adhere to an ideology that, if victorious, would lead to the annihilation of the Czech nation," said Zeman.
The third island of negative deviation, according to the president, is a "significant part of the Czech media. That part that focuses on brainwashing, on media hype and on manipulating the public opinion."
Zeman, in spite of declaring himself a "tolerant atheist," ended his speech with the Serenity Prayer.