Politics

Vaclav Klaus versus 'totalitarian' Europe

Article published on Feb. 23, 2009
Article published on Feb. 23, 2009
Following the Czech government’s approval of the Lisbon treaty, the Czech president lashes out at the EU and the European parliament. Latest titbit of news from Brussels

(Photo: European commission)The Czech parliament ratified the Lisbon treaty on 17 February. Across Europe, politicians and media agencies are expressing their satisfaction at the decision. However, they have thus far failed to realise that, in reality, no further steps have been made towards a general ratification of the treaty across the EU. The Czech senate has yet to add their approval; largely composed of the civic democratic party (ODS) representatives, the Czech upper chamber wants to postpone the ratification until after the signing of the international agreement which would allow the installation of the American anti-missile shield.

(Photo: European commission)The ratification has not yet been signed by the Czech president Vaclav Klaus; he is opposed to the treaty and has been threatening for some months not to sign the agreement until Ireland gives its approval in the autumn of 2009. Just recently, president Klaus has been the central figure in a debate at the European parliament in which he accused the EU of arrogance and compared it to a totalitarian regime.

Arrogant and ignorant?

His remarks were applauded by ultra-nationalists and English and French neo-fascist groups. Graham Watson, the leader of the alliance of liberals and democrats in the European parliament (ALDE), instead responded to Klaus by calling him arrogant and ignorant. Whilst a number of left-wing deputies left the chamber, the president of the European parliament Hans Gert Pöttering (conservative), pointed out that in a 'totalitarian' parliament, Klaus would not have been able to deliver such a discourse.