Václav Klaus is the second President of the Czech
Republic and a former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He
is indisputably one of the most important and controversial
Czech politicians of the recent era. He is the only Austrian
economist who is a world leader and has presided over one of
the fastest growing economies in the world.
Assigned by his communist masters at the Central Bank of
Czechoslovakia to study and become familiar with the errors of
the great capitalist writers, Dr. Klaus become a convert and
worked tirelessly to spread this conversion throughout his
country. He transformed his own country and was the beacon many
other countries in the region have followed.
Václav Klaus was born in the Vinohrady district of Prague on
June 19, 1941. He spent his childhood and youth in the
neighbourhood of Tylovo namesti.
He studied at the Prague School of Economics (majoring in the
Economics of Foreign Trade and graduating in 1963), and
economics became his lifelong specialist field. He took
advantage of the relative thaw in Czechoslovak public life at
that time to study in Italy (1966) and the USA (1969). As a
research worker at the Institute of Economics of the Czech
Academy of Sciences, he completed a PhD in Economics in 1968.
In 1970, he was forced to abandon his research career for
political reasons and left to work for many years at the
Czechoslovak State Bank. He returned to an academic post at the
Forecasting Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in late
He entered politics immediately after 17th November 1989, but
he did not lose his contacts with the world of economics. He
continued his lectures and published occasionally and in 1991,
he was appointed Assistant Professor of Economics at Charles
University. In 1995, he was appointed Professor of Finance at
the Prague School of Economics.
Václav Klaus started his political career in December 1989,
when he became Federal Minister of Finance. In October 1991, he
was also appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Czecho-Slovak
Federation. In late 1990, he became Chairman of what was then
the strongest political entity in the country - Civic Forum.
After its demise in April 1991, he co-founded the Civic
Democratic Party, and was its Chairman from the outset until
December 2002. He won the parliamentary elections with this
party in 1992 and became the Prime Minister of the Czech
Republic. It was in this position that he took part in the
peaceful division of Czechoslovakia and the foundation of an
independent Czech Republic. In 1996, he successfully defended
his position as Prime Minister in the elections to the Chamber
of Deputies, but he resigned after the break-up of the
government coalition in November 1997. After the early
elections of 1998, he became the Chairman of the Chamber of
Deputies for a four-year term of office.
On February 28, 2003, Vaclav Klaus was elected President of the