Former Czech Foreign Minister and Presidential Candidate Schwarzenberg Hospitalised in Vienna

Schwarzenberg has been struggling with long-term health problems, which have left him repeatedly hospitalised in Prague. Credit: TOP 09.

Prague, Nov 7 (CTK) – Former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, 85, is in hospital in Vienna due to health problems, having been airlifted from the Czech Republic, as reported yesterday by Expres News. Schwarzenberg was quoted by Blesk as saying that he is suffering from heart and kidney problems, among other things.

Schwarzenberg, the honorary chair of TOP 09, has been struggling with long-term health problems, which have left him repeatedly hospitalised in Prague and prevented him from personally receiving the Order of the White Lion, the highest Czech state decoration, from President Petr Pavel on 28 October.

“Ask the doctors why they brought me here,” Schwarzenberg told Express. “I don’t know. I don’t think there are higher quality specialists here than in the Czech Republic. I estimate that it will be about the same, but here I will be able to see my children and grandchildren.” Schwarzenberg has spent much of his life in Vienna and a part of his family lives there.

Karel Schwarzenberg comes from the Orlik branch of the Schwarzenberg noble family. He studied law in Vienna and Graz and forestry in Munich, but did not complete his studies. He lived abroad until 1989, and after the November 1989 fall of communism he became head of Czechoslovak president Vaclav Havel’s office.

He was a senator from 2004 to 2010 and foreign minister from 2007 to 2009.

In 2009, together with Miroslav Kalousek, he founded the liberal-conservative TOP 09, and was elected its chairman. He remained leader until 2015, when he became chairman emeritus of the party.

From 2010 to 2013, he was Deputy PM and foreign minister in the government of Petr Necas (ODS). He was an MP from 2010 to 2013, and then again from autumn 2013 to autumn 2021. In the 2017 general election, he became the oldest elected MP in Czech history at the age of 79.

In 2013, he advanced to the second round of the country’s first direct presidential election, where he lost to Milos Zeman.

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