On the anniversary of the Czech nation, PM calls for political unity and increased vaccination

In its darkest hours, the nation always held together, said Babiš, adding that he hoped the new government will fight for Czech interests.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 29.10.2021 08:26:00 (updated on 29.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Oct 28 (CTK) - The outlook for the future is not optimistic, but Czechs have overcome worse, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said in a speech addressed to the nation on the 103rd anniversary of the founding of the First Czechoslovak Republic.

In its darkest hours, the nation always held together, said Babiš, adding that he hoped the new government will fight for Czech interests. He also called on citizens to be vaccinated as the Czech Republic sees Covid cases soar.

During his televised speech on Thursday evening, the prime minister took the opportunity to thank the Czech people for their trust in him during his term as prime minister.

Babis delivered his remarks on a day when President Miloš Zeman typically addresses the country as part of the ceremony for the issuing of state honors.

This year's ceremony was postponed with the president currently hospitalized.

Babiš asked people to wish for Zeman's speedy recovery.

"This is exactly the moment when we should set aside possible antipathies and when politics should be ignored," he added.

He said the pandemic and situation after the election had fueled tension.

Babiš mentioned the rising prices of energy, the complicated situation in the automobile production industry, and inflation.

"One can judge from newspaper headlines that one disaster after another is coming. Perhaps, the illness is somewhat to blame. Perhaps this is an illness not only of the body but also of the soul," Babiš said.

"While the outlook is not quite optimistic, our country and nation have come to terms with much worse times," he added. He went on to predict what lies ahead for the future of the Czech Republic.

"It is true that in the years to come, we will have to rely much more on ourselves, but I absolutely believe that we are an incredibly solid and kind nation, full of innovations. This is why I do not fear that we would be unable to challenge all that is coming," Babiš said.

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The PM said he hoped the new government would "keep fighting for Czech interest and increase our citizens' living standards."

The Czech Republic's initial position is good because it is one of the least indebted EU countries and because it vehemently defends its national interests.

"Fear is out of place. I firmly believe that the new government, too, will not abandon our nation and citizens," Babiš said adding that rival politicians should not be enemies.

As the Czech Republic sees death figures reach double digits and the most hospitalized Covid patients since last spring, Babiš concluded his remarks with a plea for increased vaccination as the only instrument against coronavirus.

"For the sake of our children, our families, our friends and for the sake of our country, get vaccinated. Let your Christmas be merry and happy," he said.

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