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Don't know what you've got, till it's gone


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Sometimes described as “the 20th century poet of democracy”, Václav Havel, the philosopher-president who fought for, and led the former Czechoslovakia into, freedom more than a quarter of a century ago, would have been 80 last Wednesday 5 October.

The great number of commemorative events that took place in his memory, both at home and abroad, testified to Havel's abiding and deep relevance to the world of today.

“The Czechs, the Slovaks, the states of the Visegrad Four and ultimately the world today lack a personality who like him could equally manage to identify phenomena and things as they were happening while at the same time not retreating even a centimetre from basic human values to which we must hold,” said Slovak president Andrej Kiska, recalling Havel

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