Hard talk with Václav Klaus: “The people should say NO to all of it.” by Claudio Grass

Václav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic, has long been a respected voice of reason. (How many politicians can you say that about?) From Claudio Grass at claudiograss.ch:

As we get deeper into this crisis and we get used to our “new normal”, it’s easy to focus on the daily corona-horror stories in the media or the latest shocking unemployment numbers, and lose track of the bigger picture and of what is really, fundamentally important. Even as the lockdown measures begin to get phased out, the scale of the economic damage is unimaginable and the idea of returning to “business as usual” is no longer tenable. The last couple of months have had a severe impact not just on the economy, but on our societies and geopolitical reality too. These changes are most likely irreversible and we as citizens and as investors will have to be prepared to deal with this massive shift and all that it entails for a long time.

Amid the panic, the distractions and the hyperbole that are prevalent these days, my own daily task has been an effort to separate the signals from the noise. In order to do so, I’ve also reached out to the few people whose views and insights I have long found invaluable and who have prioritized critical thought and kept their principles intact throughout this crisis. Straight talk and direct answers are very hard to come by these days from most Western leaders and institutional figures, this is why I turned to Former President of the Czech Republic, Prof. Ing. Václav Klaus, who has long been a voice of reason and whose unique perspective is even more important now. In the interview that follows, he shares his views on the current crisis and on what’s to come, in a succinct and resolute way and with a directness that is as rare and as it is essential in times like these.

Claudio Grass (CG): The magnitude and the global scale of the lockdown and shutdown measures we’ve seen during this corona-crisis are unprecedented. How do you evaluate the response compared to the threat itself? Do you believe it is justified? 

Václav Klaus (VK): I don‘t pretend to be an expert in epidemiology, but my background in economics and statistics tells me that the threat is smaller than the consequences „organized“ by governments all over the world as a reaction to this pandemic. I would add unnecessary consequences. The authorities reacted in an exorbitant way, in a moment of fear. This is partly the result of the current „online democracy“.

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