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Vaclav Klaus

I never intended to be a politician or office-seeker.

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What we want is to establish the rules of a market economy - not to plan its outcome.

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The events in the square, of course, made a deep impression on me and many other parents.

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I was paid to read Western economic texts. In a way, the regime paid for their own undermining.

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By the time I returned to Czechoslovakia, I had an understanding of the principles of the market.

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To talk about planning an economic system is to talk in old terms, and I find myself sometimes having to teach Westers about what the market really means.

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It is what makes the reform process an art, not just a science. You have to develop a strategy that tells you what reform measures you should follow and in what sequence.

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People like me who were engaging in brinkmanship with the party economic bosses and the open dissidents who were being arrested were pursuing a common goal in different ways.

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I also helped write the five-page statement of principles that Civic Forum issued in late November. That was the first public expression of what the new government wanted to do.

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Then in 1969, I spent the spring term at Cornell University in New York. The invasion of August 1968 had already happened, but the hardline regime took several months to crack down on dissidents.

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