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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Will he won't he

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is causing a real storm over in Brussels with his refusal to sign the Lisbon Treaty. Having previously suggested that his signature would follow the outcome of the new constitutional court challenge filed by a group of Senators, now even that is not guaranteed, as he seeks some kind of 'opt-out' from the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

It's clear the guy is not going to be pushed around by the likes of Barroso, Sarkozy and Merkel, who are all lining up to pressure him into signing the Treaty as soon as possible. He has already managed to delay the appointment of the new EU President and EU Foreign Minister - originally expected at the end of this month, but which will will now apparently take place at the following EU summit in December.

However, it is impossible to tell just how far Klaus is willing to go to scupper this Treaty by delaying long enough to let the Conservatives get elected in Britain and then hold the long overdue referendum.

On the one hand, according to the Times this morning, Klaus has told supporters he will "never" sign the Lisbon Treaty. And his spokesman has indicated that he will not be happy with a fudge on the Charter, wanting instead to re-open ratification in all the other EU countries in order to agree a legally-binding protocol. Anything short of this will after all be pretty meaningless - EU governments will be able to agree relatively easily to a written declaration much like the ones offered to Ireland in return for holding a second referendum on the Treaty.

Spokesman Ladislav Jakl told Czech newspaper Lidov Noviny: "the guarantees given to Ireland are not guarantees; they were a political declaration in a style such that the Irish wolf filled its stomach and the Lisbon goat remained whole".

On the other hand, it would be naive to believe even for a minute that the other EU leaders will allow Klaus to get anywhere close to scuppering the thing they have been obsessing over non-stop for the vast majority of the past decade. As reported in the Sunday Times, France and Germany would get Klaus ousted before they considered such defeat (cue image of Klaus-shaped figure being bungled into the back of a car with blacked out windows...)

Barroso has today made crystal clear that any re-opening of the Treaty to allow for any actual or meaningful changes is absolutely and completely out of the question - "surreal", he said. They refused to do it for Ireland, so why should the Czechs be any different? They will have to make do with a written declaration.

Whether or not this will be enough to appease President Klaus is at this moment anyone's guess. Under immense pressure not just within the EU but also from his own government and parliament, it will take a heroic effort of historic proportions to stick to his guns on this one - and he has our full support.


Anonymous said...

Does this sort of behaviour move you any closer to recommending that the UK withdraw from the European Union?

Anonymous said...

I was very interested in the comments made by irish voters about the benefits tey have received from the EU. There is no doubt about the amount of money they have received, enabling many to build new houses and raising the tandard of living. But...

Isn't this exactly what happened in Germany during the rise of Hitler in the 30's? The economy improved and the average farmer was musch better off. Hitler improved the lot of many Germans. Not that I'm implying that the EU has facist tendencies. How much flexibility is there in the legislation?

I am also inclined to woder at the sense of bribery afoot when so many Irish people can say that they have already benefitted from the EU.

I remember when there were food handouts from surplus butter etc. What happeed to that? What has the UK benefitted from membership with the EU?

Anonymous said...

I hope he sticks to his guns and refuses to sign forever . The EU is not good for anybody !

smartass said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ernest11 said...

It will be hard for the CZECH Republic to hold out until the British election. Prime Minister Brown robbed us of the chance for us to say NO to Europe

Anonymous said...

So Ireland is bought and paid for, they will live to regret that. Lets hope that the Czechs have more backbone! Be brave David Cameron, announce that the UK will have that referendum regardless.

Anonymous said...

We should never have been involved at all, the only time the Labour Party ever got it right, was when they opposed membership for so many years - they changed their mind when they saw how profitable it could be for themselves!

Anonymous said...

We have all been betrayed by the politicians who are only concerned with their next role and power. They are the ultimate con-men (and women) and care little for the people. The Irish at least had an opportunity, but again anti-democratic forces prevailed by forcing a seperate vote. The Czech President will have to bow to pressure as the New World Order will not accept anything else. We are losing the war....there is only revolution left.

Piggies in the EU said...

At least Vaclav Klaus has the guts of his conviction at the moment, we like other 'Spineless nations' have not stood up for our rights on a vote, and have let these "Bloated greedy massive wage seeking Hogs" push their greedy agenda forward, with loads of promises for the smaller piggies to salivate over all the goodies promised to them.
"Democracy, I spit on you" we are still waiting!
And don't let that Blair get his 'bloodstained' hands on the presidency either.

Anonymous said...

A step towards the fourth Reich-with the rest of us kept in step by the "secret police state"

Unknown said...

of all the tyranical bodies in the world, this(the eu) has got to be the most dictatorial ever imagined and too vast to be easily kept in check.
The vast expense involved do not equate with freedom at all.

Unknown said...

president Klaus must not be forced into signing this unwanted and undemocratic treaty, remember we in the uk supported the Czechs in their hour of need and we are relying on the president not to sign until we in the uk can can have a referendum and throw out this load of rubbish