Head of Czech Parliament, Klaus to Discuss Nation's Transition from Communism to NATO Member

Dallas (April 13, 1999) - Coming to Dallas as his country openly debates its new role in the NATO alliance and the propriety of the NATO campaign against its European neighbor Yugoslavia, Parliamentary head Vaclav Klaus will speak to a luncheon sponsored by the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas on Friday, April 16, 1999. Klaus, who was a key member of his nation. s revolution, also served as Prime Minister until 1997.

Known as the "Intellectual Godfather to the Revolution," Vaclav Klaus took the teachings of the best free-market economists the world has to offer, including America. s Milton Friedman, and personally applied them to his nation. s economy, helping guide the Czech Republic through the most successful transition from communism to capitalism in all of eastern Europe. Currently in his role as the head of Parliament and the leader of the political opposition, Klaus has openly announced his reservations towards the ongoing military campaign in Yugoslavia.

WHO: Vaclav Klaus
WHAT: NCPA. Hatton W. Sumners Lecture Series
WHEN: Noon . 1:30 p.m.
Friday, April 16, 1999
WHERE: Wyndham Anatole Hotel
Wedgewood Room
2201 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX

Klaus will be available to the media upon request.

As one of the leaders who orchestrated the "Velvet Revolution," which is credited with releasing the 40-year stranglehold of communism and bringing freedom and democracy to Czechoslovakia, Klaus drafted the demands of the pro-democracy Civic Forum movement headed by dissident and current President Vaclav Havel. After successfully overthrowing the communist regime, Klaus was appointed to be Finance Minister, a post he held until 1992. During his tenure, Klaus established plans to privatize thousands of Czech firms.

In 1992, Klaus successfully negotiated the peaceful split of Czechoslovakia into separate Czech and Slovak states. After breaking with the Havel-led Civic Forum and forming his own Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Klaus officially became Prime Minister of the new Czech Republic on January 1, 1993.