Ex-President Milos Zeman Opens His New Office in Prague
Zeman’s former aides from Prague Castle will help him run the new office. Photo credit: Jiří Ovčáček, via Facebook.
Prague, April 20 (CTK) – Former Czech president Milos Zeman yesterday opened his new office on Jaselska in Prague 6, where he plans to work once a week, receiving visitors and giving interviews, he told reporters.
Zeman arrived there at 11am, accompanied by security guards. The office is leased from the Prague Archbishopric and the rent is covered by the Friends of Milos Zeman association.
Zeman told reporters that he had been looking forward to the office opening, especially to seeing his friends. As his first activity there yesterday, he had an interview with the Mlada fronta Dnes newspaper.
Zeman’s former aides from Prague Castle will help him run the new office, and his former spokesman Jiri Ovcacek will continue to be in charge of media affairs.
Ovcacek announced yesterday that Zeman would also give an interview later that day to the Zivot v Cesku (Life in Czechia) server, where Ovcacek worked at the beginning of his career as a reporter and commentator.
Karel Srp, former chairman of the Jazz Section, a founding member of the Friends of Milos Zeman association, was waiting for Zeman outside the building, and brought photos to the former president.
Zeman had previously announced that his wife Ivana would be his assistant in the office.
Under the law, the former president is entitled to CZK 50,000 per month for the running of his office and the salary of his assistant. The sum has not been increased since the law came into force. At the same time, Zeman receives a monthly annuity of CZK 50,000 from the state, and a retirement pension of around CZK 23,000. He also has the use of an official car with a driver and police protection.
The Friends of Milos Zeman rented the new office for Zeman, which looks like a normal apartment, from the XPlace Alfa real estate agency founded by the Prague Archbishopric.
The association helped Zeman return to politics after 2008, and later with his presidential campaign. Jiri Prinz, spokesman for the Prague Archbishopric, told Denik N that the association would pay the normal market rent, but did not specify the sum.
Zeman, 78, was elected president of the Czech Republic in 2013 in the first direct presidential election, and re-elected five years later. His second and final five-year term in office ended on 8 March. Zeman was previously the leader of the Social Democrats (1993-2001) and prime minister (1998-2002), and also headed the Chamber of Deputies (1996-1998). He is now living in his new house in Lany, west of Prague.