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Buzek pays tribute to Vaclav Havel

Warsaw -
Sunday 18/12/2011

The President of the European Parliament has paid tribute to the statesman, write and former Czech and Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel who died today. EP President Jerzy Buzek said:

"Vaclav Havel is the figure that represents the Velvet Revolution and the reunification of Europe. Vaclav Havel was a great writer and intellectual that touched millions of people; Havel will be sorely missed not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia but by the whole European continent which he did so much to reunite. He was a personal friend and a hero of our times. In particular, my thoughts are with his family and friends. Vaclav Havel was a truly courageous man. I pay homage to Vaclav Havel's bravery, leadership and the role he played in the democratic changes in Central and Eastern Europe. Vaclav Havel was a true statesman. I recall his visit to the European Parliament in November 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of democratic change in Central and Eastern Europe. The whole Parliament rightly stood and applauded a statesman that worked so hard to reunite our continent.

Vaclav Havel was, and remains, a hero. In 1989, students in my country came out into the streets to call for Vaclav Havel's release. Václav Havel became soon after the President of a free Czechoslovakia; President of both Czechs and Slovaks and a hero to both.

I also honour Vaclav Havel as a playwright. Vaclav Havel started writing at a very early age, and never stopped, not even during his four terms of imprisonment covering a total of five years. His writing has always been straightforward and honest; sensitive and beautiful and touched millions of people around the world."

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