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V?clav Havel

October 26, 2009

Videogreeting to the conference
For Our Freedom and Yours! For Our Common Future!

Recorded in: office in Vor?ilsk? on September 15, 2009
Publicized: Lvov, October 25 – 27, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me express me my warmest greetings and, at the same time, apologize for being unable to be with you. I would be very happy to be present, not only for the fact that so many friends and wonderful and important people have gathered here, but also for the fact that I am extremely interested to hear the thoughts that will be mentioned and the conclusions that will be reached …

What should be emphasized, beside all that we know and that we will remember at this conference, twenty years after such remarkable events? Although it could be any number of things, there is one that I would especially like to point out. I have an intense feeling that the global civilization, based on the idea of incessant growth, which also implies a constant increase in energy consumption, has unwittingly lead many politicians and current European political institutions to adopt peculiar kinds of policies. It seems as if a smooth input of oil or natural gas were more important than human freedoms, than human rights. I believe that politics where economic interests are put above basic political values are not only immoral, they are suicidal. Numerous meetings and conferences, including this one, that are being held to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, should emphasis apart from many other ideas and thoughts, the point that I am making right now. My lifelong experience is that we should not give in to evil; concessions to evil do not result in its diminishing in any way, but rather in its expansion and strengthening.

Thank you for your attention.

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