Czech leader sparks uproar with foul-mouthed interview
Outspoken Czech President Milos Zeman faced unprecedented criticism on Tuesday over a recent radio interview littered with expletives that has sparked uproar across the country.
Prague: Outspoken Czech President Milos Zeman faced unprecedented criticism on Tuesday over a recent radio interview littered with expletives that has sparked uproar across the country.
Speaking on public broadcaster Czech Radio on Sunday, Zeman said the centre-left Czech government had "fucked up" a bill, called members of the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot "bitches" and translated "pussy" into Czech as "cunt".
Politicians, linguists, pundits and teachers alike have slammed the foul-mouthed 70-year-old leftist, who enjoyed his drinks and cigarettes until doctors stepped in last year.
The former communist took office in January 2013 as the first-ever directly elected Czech head of state.
"This undermines the presidential office, serves as a very bad example to young people especially and definitely does not help our reputation abroad," said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Pundits have questioned the direct presidential vote, while jokes aimed at the pro-Russian president have gone viral on social networks.
Zeman explained during the interview that he was trying to impress fans of his arch-rival, the bow-tie-wearing rightist Karel Schwarzenberg.
He claimed the aristocratic veteran politician, whom he beat in the presidential run-off last year, uses expletives as well.
On Tuesday, Zeman`s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said the president would not apologise for his words.
"What matters is that Mr President has opened a key debate -- whether it`s acceptable to use such words in politics. Such things were ignored in the past," he told reporters.