Thursday, October 15, 2009

Czech Republic stalls EU reform treaty

Vaclav Klaus: How Czech president is fighting on to stop Europe in its tracks

Guardian UK — For a man standing alone between Europe and its future, Vaclav Klaus is playing hard to get. Last week a trip to Albania, this week Russia; the Czech president has performed a vanishing act just when he has the rest of Europe dancing to his tune.

He relishes being at the centre of a showdown. But it appears he is currently more interested in selling copies of his tract on global warming denial.
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The EU turns its hideous strength against Václav Klaus

UK Telegraph — Can this really be true? The French and German governments attempting to oust the head of state of a neighbouring democracy? Czech politicians being told to bring impeachment proceedings against their President – not on grounds of corruption or abuse of office, but because he is sticking to a position that he had very publicly adopted prior to becoming President?

Klaus himself has written of the intolerant, authoritarian nature of the doctrine he calls “Europeism”. Now he is all that stands in its way, and is sustaining its full force. I have written many times of what I call the EU’s “hideous strength“: the way in which, as well as being undemocratic in itself, it requires its member nations to sacrifice a measure of their internal democracy; the way in which it makes otherwise good people do bad things. I hope that Klaus’s stand will convince people – not just in Czech Republic or Britain, but across the EU – of the nature of what we are dealing with.
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Klaus taps into buried fear of German menace

Financial Times — Vaclav Klaus may be the bugbear of European politics for his steadfast refusal to sign the Lisbon treaty, but his reanimation of the German menace as a justification for not doing so has struck a chord with his fellow Czechs.

His previous efforts to throw up roadblocks to the treaty reforming the workings of the European Union had not garnered widespread local support. Complaints about Ireland re-running its referendum, the erosion of the Czech Republic’s voting power under the new Lisbon rules and the loss of sovereignty to Brussels are not nearly as emotive in a country where most people are happy with belonging to the EU.
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