Vienna, 5 October 2011 Press release

Spindelegger wishes Václav Havel all the best on his 75th birthday

Vienna, 5 October 2011 – “When I campaign in the fight against human rights violations world-wide in my capacity of Foreign Minister, the problems and sufferings endured by the people of our immediate neighbourhood in Central Europe not long ago sometimes appear altogether inconceivable to us today“, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Spindelegger said when summarising the achievements of former Czech dissident and President Václav Havel on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

“Vaclav Havel put fear into a totalitarian system by his own fearlessness“, Spindelegger said. And he admired the conciliatory attitude with which Havel – first as President of Czechoslovakia and then of the Czech Republic – faced those who lacked his ability to oppose suffocation through the system.

“Austria owes Václav Havel thanks above all for giving us the opportunity to re-establish a true and profound relationship with our northern neighbours that had been enjoyed by both countries for centuries both at the political and personal level and had linked them tightly to each other. I wish him strength and good health. May he continue to be a beacon of courage in Europe for many years to come.”

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