Leader teased for pocketing pen
PRAGUE | Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:40am EDT
(Reuters Life!) - Czech media chided President Vaclav Klaus on Tuesday after a viral Internet video showed him discreetly pocketing a ceremonial pen during a visit to Chile in what viewers are calling a theft.
The video "The Czech Republic's president steals a pen" shows Klaus admiring the pen during a news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, then holding it under the table where he appears to put it in his pocket.
The video has logged more than 100,000 in two days and caused a media stir, with television news shows repeating the video and papers splashing it on the front page. (here)
"Even though protocol allows Klaus to take the pen, with which the foreign minister signed a transport agreement, as a souvenir, Internet users are branding the Czech president as a thief," daily Mlada Fronta Dnes wrote.
Presidential spokesman Radim Ochvat said Klaus had a right to take the pen, which presidents and their delegations get on state visits. "We at the Prague Castle always give such a pen to delegations, along with a notepad," he said.
(Reporting by Robert Mueller)