Official Working Visit of the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus in Denmark
03.02.2010 / 10:03
President of the Czech Republic, Mr. Václav Klaus, visited Denmark on 2 February 2010. He was received by Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark. He had a meeting with the Speaker of the Folketing, Mr Thor Pedersen, and he launched the Danish edition of his book “Blue Planet in Green Shackles“.
The President was accompanied, besides his own delegation, by the Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Vladimír Galuška, by the Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mr Ole Moesby, and by the Czech Ambassador to Denmark, Mr Zdeněk Lyčka.
The interior of the Royal Library
President Klaus’ first visit was to the Royal Library, where he was welcomed by the Director, Erland Kolding Nielsen. The President inspected the architecturally unique library annex from 1999, shaped as an oblique cube of black granite, now known as the Black Diamond. The new and old buildings are connected by a glassed-in bridge which sets off a large atrium with a panoramic view of a harbour canal. Besides the library, the Black Diamond houses a book-store, a café, a restaurant, several scientific and literary institutions, a roof-terrace and the Queen’s Hall where concerts, theatre performances and conferences are held. In 2009, the largest promotion event of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council took place there – the exhibition of documentary photographs 68/89 and the concert of the Stamic Quartet.
Director Erland Kolding Nielsen (left) and president Václav Klaus; photo: Karsten Bundgaard)
At the Royal Residence of Christian IX Palace, Amalienborg President Klaus was received in a private audience by Her Majesty Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Ms Carina Christensen.
Her Majesty the Queen Margrethe II and President Václav Klaus; photo: Hasse Ferrold
Another item on the agenda was the presentation of Václav Klaus’ book Blue Planet in Green Shackles at Saxo Bank. CEO Lars Seier Christensen was a leading contributor to the Danish edition of the book, published in November 2009 in People’s Press publishing house. He also wrote a foreword.
President Václav Klaus and CEO Lars Seier Christensen (right); photo: Hasse Ferrold
President Klaus gave a short speech in which he explained the genesis of his book and its 13th language version – a Danish one. He expressed his fear of human freedom being endangered (to which he is very sensitive, after having lived in a Communist state for many years) – especially under the pressure of the present debate on global warming. He also introduced his ideas on European integration and common European currency. Luncheon for about 50 VIP guests followed. Apart from the Czech delegation, its Danish partners and Saxo Bank senior management, the Speaker of the Folketing, Thor Pedersen, and several MPs from the Folketing and the European Parliament were present. Also present was the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, Mr Niels Brøchner; former Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mr Jørgen Bøjer; Director of Copenhagen Czech Trade Office, Henrik Holstein; Vice President of the Danish-Czech Business Forum, Mads Thomsen; Mayor of the Municipal District Prague 6, Tomáš Chalupa; representatives of several Danish ministries, scientists, and journalists.
Václav Klaus’ speech at the luncheon in Saxo Bank; photo: Hasse Ferrold
During the official discussion in the Folketing, Václav Klaus compared notes with Speaker Thor Pedersen, who celebrated the 25th anniversary of his work for the Liberal Party (Venstre) in the Danish Parliament, in January 2010. President Klaus praised Thor Pedersen for his liberal views, not only on climate change debate. The Speaker recollected his visit to Prague last year which was packed with fruitful and open debate with Senators and Deputies. He appreciated confrontation of different ideas and views which Václav Klaus’ book brought to Denmark. The Czech President repeated his consistent opinion on that specific issue, arising from his confidence of meaningful market behavior of human society, as long as its free development is possible.
President Václav Klaus and the Folketing’s Speaker Thor Pedersen (right); photo: Hasse Ferrold
Václav Klaus with his entourage ascended one of the famous Copenhagen sights – the Round Tower which is the oldest working European observatory, and was built in 1642 by Christian IV. In the centre of the tower, there is a library hall, which has served as an exhibition and concert hall since 1987, enabling all kinds of cultural activities. President Klaus, accompanied by Director Jesper Vang Hansen, viewed a current exhibition on Byzantium.
Director Jesper Vang Hansen (left) and the Czech delegation at the top of the Round Tower; photo: Hasse Ferrold
President Václav Klaus (left), Ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka and the Little Mermaid; photo: Hasse Ferrold
There was a brief stop at the symbol of Copenhagen, the statue of the Little Mermaid by Danish-Icelandic sculptor Edvard Eriksen from 1913. It will form part of the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai from 1 April 2010. Václav Klaus then visited the Centre for Political Studies (CEPOS) where he met its Director, Martin Ågerup. He also met Bjørn Lomborg, a known personality of Danish “climate“ debate, and Director of the think-tank Copenhagen Consensus Center and the author of the book Sceptical Ecologist.
From the left: Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, President Václav Klaus, CEPOS Director Martin Ågerup; photo: Hasse Ferrold
Václav Klaus’ lecture at CEPOS; photo: Hasse Ferrold
In the packed lecture hall, to an audience of about 140 people, Václav Klaus presented the Danish version of his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles. In his lecture, he drew attention to the discrepancies between the 3rd IPCC Report from 2002 (the so called ‘ice-hockey stick diagram’ of the growth of average temperature on Earth in the last 100 years of the past millennium) and the following 4th IPCC Report from 2007 (from which the unsubstantiated and misleading diagram completely disappeared without any explanation). He quoted the official IPCC data on assumed GDP growth in developed as well as developing countries in 2100 where the climate change will not have essential influence. In this respect, the President named the Kuznetsov curve according to which the growing wealth enables better protection of the environment. He highlighted the connection between the CO2 emissions and the global warming that had not been scientifically proven yet. He stressed the necessity of discounting the future and not overestimating the principle of anticipatory precaution.
Václav Klaus’ lecture at CEPOS; photo Hasse Ferrold
In the following discussion, Václav Klaus expressed his concern of silencing the ‘politically incorrect’ views on combating the global warming. He reiterated the fact that owing to his long, personal experience with Communism, he is very sensitive to any constraints of freedom, and he appealed to the participants at the lecture to keep their ideas and spread them throughout the world. A good contribution to these efforts could also be Blue Planet in Green Shackles, which will soon be published in Arabic and Japanese translations.
A book signing followed.
Václav Klaus signing his book at CEPOS; photo: Hasse Ferrold
During his stay in Copenhagen, Václav Klaus gave an exclusive interview to Denmarks largest newspaper, the Conservative daily, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (page 1, page 2). The Czech News Agency, the Czech TV station Prima and the daily Právo reported on the visit, too.
The departure of Václav Klaus to the Czech Republic was delayed due to a snow storm; photo: Hasse Ferrold