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About the coronavirus, her candidacy and 50th wedding anniversary

Fast Confession - Miroslava Němcová about the coronavirus, her candidacy and 50th wedding anniversary

Karolína Lišková
08.Sep 2020
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7 minutes
Special section
Miroslava Němcová kandiduje do Senátu.

More than two years ago, I did an interview with Miroslava Němcová for We decided to contact this great politician again to find out what's going on with her. And we found a few things. In addition to running for the Senate, she is also sharply opposed to the current government, fearlessly and loudly. In her private life, she and her husband celebrate their 50th anniversary, and she told us how.

Němcová se svými nejbližšími.
Politička je vášnivá zahradnice.
S manželem oslaví 50. výročí svatby.

We last spoke two years ago. What has happened to you in those two years, what has changed, be it in the field of your work or at home?

In two years, a lot will change in anyone's life, but fortunately at home nothing has changed. The most important thing is that the family is healthy, still stands, we all love each other. The garden is changing, and that makes me very happy. The work is also changing, in which I feel more and more of the tension created especially by President Zeman and reinforced by the government's lax attittude. What was frustrating, for example, was how they did during the corona crisis. During that, the impact of the Chinese virus significantly changed all of our lives.

You're running for the Senate - why? What led you to this? What do you want to do there differently than you do now?

I am running for the Senate mainly because it is the first opportunity to show a metaphorical stop sign to Andrej Babiš and Miloš Zeman. If I strengthen the Senate as an institution, it means that the opposition is not as weak as it is still claimed, and it will gain a completely different leverage and the opportunity to intervene in societal issues. The Senate also calls to me because it is a platform where things are handled in a cultured, factual way. I would like to try this work in person, as I only have only done it indirectly so far. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are partners, I know the Chamber of Deputies intimately, now I would like to get to know the Senate as well. But the main motivation is to be a constitutional insurance policy. I think that the more people come to the Senate with this deep conviction, the more stable the Senate will be.

Luxusní byt s výhledem na Pražský hrad, Malá
Luxusní byt s výhledem na Pražský hrad, Malá, Praha 1

You say you don't like questions about running for president, but you're considering running. So how will it be? Do you think you could be president?

I have no idea why we should address the issue of presidential candidacy now. The current president has two more years ahead of him. We will see what my situation and the state of society will be. Only when I evaluate all of this will I decide whether to run or not. But now it makes no sense.

What would you change if you replaced Miloš Zeman, where would you start cleaning?

I do not think about it in detail, because I am not preparing for the candidacy. When you ask me what I would change, the most important thing is that the head of state is really the head of the whole state and helps people to understand each other. Not do everything to make people hate each other. The first thing I would like to do is clean up the Castle, whether after Mr. Mynář or Nejedlý. I would like to look at the people around me, and as president I would like everyone to feel good in their country. I would do my best to achieve that.

What do your supporters say, or even the haters you told me about last year who are threatening you?

I'd never get too upset about threats, because they are usually written by anonymous people who use them to vent their frustration and anger. If I concerned myself with that, they would achieve what they wanted to achieve, to occupy my time and get on my nerves. I will not allow them to do that in any case.

You don't hide what you think about Babiš, but I would like to know how he acts towards you. If he ever gets nervous, he'll call you and say - look, enough is enough, or something. I am interested in the mood in which the negotiations in which you are both present take place, and what you were discussing last time, for example.

I am not in direct contact with Andrej Babiš, because I do not tend to be present in government negotiations, I am not among government figures. Everything that is happening between us is on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies, where he and possibly me will present something with my opinion on the matter. But there were no close negotiations between us.

How do you view the conflicts in Belarus? How can the Czech Republic help? And will it help?

It is true that a lot of things are happening in the world. Belarus is now the number one issue for me, alongside, for example, Mr Navalný, which is the most recent issue that I am interested in. I see the conflict in Belarus as something that raises the hope that the new generation will carve out a life for themselves in their own way and not be ordered around by a fool like President Lukashenko, who runs down the streets with a Kalashnikov. It infuriates and disgusts me.

I believe that the Czech Republic will help. I have found that there are programs that, for example, would help the injured or students who would like to come to study here. That, I think, is the right way to go. The Chamber of Deputies has adopted a resolution that supports what is happening in present-day Belarus. It supports, or at least I support, holding democratic elections there. That is the help we democrats can provide. In Belarus they feel they have some support, and that is what this is about.

Let's move on to corona now. How did you handle the pandemic and the state of emergency? What did you do, did you sew masks? Do you think that masks from September 1 make sense? Do you know anyone who has been infected with the coronavirus, and do you know how they dealt with it?

I don't know if I can talk about the pandemic in the case of the Chinese virus, but it's called that, so I'll use the same term. At first I was nervous. I didn't sew masks, but I donated the precious bed linen I had inherited from my mother, as a tribute to those who sewed the masks, to have something to make them out of, because there wasn't enough material in the beginning. Then I watched everything that happened, not only in our country, but also in Italy, because I know Italian.

After the initial nervousness, I turned my perception more inward and became more and more angry with our government. By releasing conflicting statements, they did not provide clear advice on what to do, when, and how. In the first phase, they did not provide personal protective equipment for the most vulnerable professions, such as health and social workers, they failed completely at that. We see the failure even now, when one day they announce a certain regime in schools, the next day they cancel it, the third day they say where the masks will be worn, and on the fourth day that is no longer the case. The government is turning the whole situation into a farce, but the sad thing is that it affects ten million people. The government does not manage this task well in any way.

I think that masks only make sense in places where the infection is localized and detected by a public health office. The office will then close the city, like Uničov was once closed. It could have been solved in this way, no universal measures were needed. After all, the prime minister promised that there would be no universal measures, but it turned out exactly the same as with all his promises. When Andrej Babiš says one thing, we have to count with the fact that Z will go into effect, which he will soon change to P, and again to something else according to how he licks his finger and finds out where the wind blows from in society.

What do you think about housing, mortgages, and real estate prices in Prague? What do you think it will look like in a few years? According to some, young people will not even qualify for mortgages or be able to afford rent ... Will it be solved somehow? And how?

I do not know what the situation on the mortgage market or real estate prices will look like in a few years, no one knows that. But I think that a sensible tax policy can be used to ensure that at least some groups of young people can afford even the expensive apartments in Prague. It is clear that it will not be everyone. Prague is expensive, luxurious, it will not allow everyone to live there immediately, it is necessary to have something saved up. However, a reasonable tax policy can move towards making the life goal of living in Prague more achievable for the young generation.

And now something from your private life - your husband really manned up with the gift for the 50th anniversary. What will you give him?

I will probably explain that the anniversary of our marriage is that we agreed on taking a trip to Milan for an opera. It is this gift from me to my husband and from my husband to me, so the gifts are resolved.

What about your family, grandchildren?

As for the family, I'm glad that everyone is doing well and we are healthy. Probably the most important thing for me is that my grandson is successful at studying in college. The granddaughter got into the high school she wanted, even though it was very difficult for her this year during the time of the coronavirus. In the end, she managed it and I'm very proud of her. These were the most important moments for our family this year.

Last time you told me you don't go to beauty parlors. I wonder if you have "improved" since last time? How do you pamper yourself? How do you keep fit?

I still don't go to beauty parlors, but I do buy quality cosmetics. I do not skimp on myself in this regard. For keeping in shape, among other things, I ride my bike often or go for walks in the woods. Rejuvenation isn't only possible in a salon chair under layers of multiple creams. All you need is some movement, a beautiful environment, nature. You will see the world as a happier place immediately, and when you see life from a happier place, you feel good and it is up to you to recognize it.

Mrs. Němcová, are you happy?

I am happy, but I also experience sad moments, like everyone else. At my age, I experience the fact that people who are dear to me leave me, and I have to deal with it somehow. I can't say one hundred percent that I'm happy. What makes me happy is that, together with the support of my family and my friends, we manage, in these difficult times. In those moments, I say to myself that I can't complain, that I have the most important support system in the most important situations. In that case, a person must say with great humility that they are happy and that their life is going well.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like to be surrounded by flowers somewhere as a very successful grower and gardener.

Thank you very much for the interview.

Fast confession:

What do you have to do with women in white?

It is resistance to violence, and I think it is thiss protective role, every mother or woman wants her loved ones to do well. Plus, I love white.

What was the last thing that Andrej Babiš did that made you angry?

His constant lying. In June, he said that masks would not be needed, there would be no universal measures, and now he is introducing them and there is nothing but confusion in that.

What was the last thing you managed to grow in your garden?

This year, finally, hydrangeas bloomed beautifully.

What is missing from today's politics?

Seriousness, it has turned into marketing and it looks like ideas are worth donuts, and I don't like that.

Are you afraid of the second wave of the coronavirus?

I am not afraid, I am afraid of other serious diseases. I hate the panic and fear that comes with it.

What book would you recommend to me this time?

I read some nice books in the summer, so one Alena Mornštajnová - Hana, Alena Wagnerová - Sidonie Nádherná and now I am reading one by Mr. Novák Kundera.

You are running for the Senate - what will be the first thing you do there when you're there?

I would like to focus on culture, I think it got really screwed during the coronavirus crisis. Everyone forgets about it. We hear about footballers, hockey players ... that would be the first thing I would throw myself into.

What was the last thing you baked your grandchildren?

It was a punch cake based on my mom's recipe.

What comes to mind when I say the word pirate?

With a lowercase p - we all know from books and movies that they are the thieves and murderers, but I do not mean anything at all that concerns the political scene in the Czech Republic.

How did you celebrate your 50th anniversary with your husband?

It's still coming. We will fly to Milan in autumn. He invited me to La Scala for the opera La Traviata that is to be sung by Plácido Domingo.

When was the last time you bought something nice for yourself?

The other day I went a little crazy... a men's floral shirt that my husband refuses to wear, but I liked it, so it's for me, a white blouse and the eccentric earrings I'm wearing today.

Where would you recommend I go on holiday this year?

To our Vysočina probably, it is a beautiful region and three of its cities are on the UNESCO list - Žďár nad Sázavou, Telč, Třebíč. That would be a nice trip.

Who is currently your biggest motivation not to fall asleep at the wheel?

My children.

Do you think we managed the coronavirus crisis well?

The people definitely did great, the medics definitely did great, and the government is in chaos. In spite of that, we made it.
Question by the interviewee to the editor:

One man and one woman you would like to go to dinner with?

A woman - with you and a man, Mr. Havel if he was still here and one who is still here, that could be Brad Pitt.
That sounds amazing.
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