Czech president bridles at Australian parliament security
The Czech Republic's President Vaclav Klaus stunned his Australian hosts Tuesday by refusing to pass through the security checkpoint at Canberra's Parliament House, dpa reported.
Klaus is on a speaking tour and was lined up for an interview at national broadcaster ABC's Parliament House studios.
"As soon as he saw the security device he stopped and said: 'I'm not going through there'," the ABC's Michelle Ainsworth said. "So I told him that everyone goes through. To which he repeated, he wasn't going to go through.
"I told the security guard that he's the Czech president here for an interview but he doesn't want to go through the metal detector.
"The guard's reply was blunt and to the point: 'I don't care who he is, everyone goes through.'
"So I told the president there were no exceptions. He replied, 'I won't go through. I'm leaving. I'm going back to my hotel. If you want to interview me you can do it there.'
"He didn't even say goodbye. He just left," Ainsworth said.