Germany cancels award for Putin after protests by Havel, others

16-07-2011

The organizers of the prestigious German Quadriga Prize cancelled on Saturday this year’s award ceremony following an outcry by a number of international figures including former Czech president Václav Havel who protested against Russia’s Prime Minister Vladmir Putin receiving the award. Mr Havel, who received the prize in 2009, had threatened to return his award if the Russian official is given the prize, the German news website Deutsche Welle reported on Saturday. Mr Havel has reportedly asked the Quadriga jury to reconsider their decision which had surprised and disappointed him. The Czech daily Lidové noviny reported on Saturday that another Czech recipient of the prize, the head of the humanitarian NGO People in Need Šimon Pánek, was considering the same move.