The New Year’s lunch between the President and the Prime Minister will take place on January 2 at the castle in Lány. President Miloš Zeman has invited Fiala and his wife to the traditional meeting.
The New Year’s lunches between the President and the Prime Minister in Lány were started by Zeman’s predecessor, Václav Klaus. From the beginning, it was a social meeting, with both politicians accompanied by their wives. The exceptions were in 2008, 2009, and 2013, when the then Prime Ministers, Mirek Topolánek and Petr Nečas (both ODS), no longer lived with their wives, and therefore the politicians met only in pairs.
This year, Zeman also had lunch with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) only in pairs, the reason being measured against the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to the Prime Minister, Babiš’s wife, Monika, and their children were initially invited to Lány. First Lady Ivana and her daughter, Kateřina, were also to attend.
Unlike regular meetings, where the President and the prime minister discuss mainly current political issues, the New Year’s lunches are primarily a social affair. However, both politicians do not shy away from political topics.
For lunch this year, the chefs prepared Prague ham off the bone and pheasant with noodles for Zeman and Babiš. Last year and the year before, the menu consisted of duck liver pate with port wine and butter-roasted candát with chateau potatoes. It concluded with lemon and raspberry sorbet with strawberries.
This year, the New Year’s lunch menu is not decided yet. Zeman, hospitalized for a long time in the fall, recently said he was suffering from a lack of appetite and receiving nutrition through an artificial probe in his stomach.