Much has been written about the many faceted character of former dissident leader, dramatist and head of state, Václav Havel, but a valid historical evaluation of the Czechoslovak and Czech president is difficult with the archives still closed. Some historians are now calling for them to be opened long before the current 30-year delay, so that they can to grips with the facts.
Past and present protocol and etiquette experts have spoken up for Czech President Václav Klaus, who stalked away from an Australian parliament security check rather than undergo the indignity of being treated like a common man. But back home, Czechs have divided views about their increasingly blunder-prone head of state (remember the Chilean ‘pen stealing’ episode?) whose popularity has been sliding.
Ladislav Špaček, the spokesman for Václav Havel during his presidency and a renowned expert on etiquette, has become the new face of Lay’s brand potato chips in the Czech Republic, known as Walker’s in the UK, offering counsel to those who forget themselves when tucking into a bag of brambůrky.