At a meeting at Prague Castle, Czech President Miloš Zeman and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier disagreed on the impact of EU environmental plans on the power industry. They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Zeman thanked Steinmeier for helping with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The welcome at Prague Castle was followed by a meeting between the two statesmen.
“Yesterday we had a friendly dinner in Lány. We touched on Afghanistan, for example, and our views are very close,“ said Zeman after the meeting of presidents.
However, they did not agree on how the European Union’s environmental plans would affect the energy industry. According to the Czech president, Germany intends to dismantle some coal and nuclear power plants, which could also cause a lack of electricity. Czechia intends to wait and see how the situation unfolds in Germany.
“If Germany experiences a shortage, the Czech Republic will be very happy to supply it with electricity, at a reasonable price,” he joked.
“We are continuing our economic cooperation. Our personal friendship and the friendship between the two nations is especially important,“ Zeman said. According to him, there was also talk of transport connections between Prague and Munich, but also of the regulation of the Elbe.
“Two years ago, I promised the president that I would come, and we have talked about the visit repeatedly. Unfortunately, the coronavirus situation thwarted our plans,” the German president said to begin his speech, thanking for the welcome and hospitality.
“We are experiencing something extraordinary. We need to continue to expand on what has been happening over the last thirty years. That’s why I’m here,“ Steinmeier said. “Our partnership has a solid foundation, and it is practically independent of a specific political constellation,” he added.
“We are closely connected in all areas. We have to realize that,” he said about cooperation.
Commuters were also a topic of conversation. According to the heads of state, in the future, it is important to avoid the problems that arose from the closure of borders due to the coronavirus.
“We have talked about various conflicts around the world. It is clear to both of us that lonely states cannot play a major role. We can only be relevant if we are united in Europe,” said the German president.
Zeman said he was pleased with the visit that has long been postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, relations between the Czech Republic and Germany have never been better.
“I would like to thank Germany for its support during the covid pandemic, even at the level of individual federal states,” he added.
The German president will leave Prague today after talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. On the way to Germany, he will stop in Ústí nad Labem, where he will visit the upcoming exhibition on Czech-German relations.
Title image: Czech Republic’s President Milos Zeman, 2nd right, with his wife Ivana, right, welcomes his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 2nd left, accompanied with his wife Elke Buedenbender at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)