Sunday, 18 October 2009

With Vaclav Klaus only seeing is believing

Vaclav Klaus’ “heroic” stand against the EU Treaty of Lisbon was draining away his support faster than you can say General Custer. What were his options?

Yesterday, 17 October 2009, Czech Happenings published main points of the interview Czech President Vaclav Klaus had given to the Lidove noviny paper.

Klaus now seems to believe that the EU’s Treaty of Lisbon will enter into force, and it looks as if he is going to be content with face-saving “Irish road” assurances, instead of re-ratification.


Facts and views

Czech leader resigned to treaty”, reports the BBC, speaking of increasing signs from Prague Castle that Klaus’ battle may be lost.

Klaus, fin de partie”, is the headline on the Coulisses de Bruxelles blog. Jean Quatremer notes that Klaus is not going to wait for the general election in Great Britain.

Contrary to Klaus’ assertion that Lisbon has advanced too far for a retreat, Quatremer remarks with some irony that the reform treaty offers a procedure for secession, but Klaus wanted to do it without consulting the citizens.

In a Bloomberg report, written by Andrea Dudikova, EU Commission spokesman Michele Cercone makes the observation that Klaus did not say that he will sign the Lisbon Treaty ratification.


English scene

The English anti-EU scene is trying to get to grips with the new situation. In The Telegraph, Christopher Booker laments the Czech President as a fallen hero, in “Vaclav Klaus, the only leader who dared stand up to Europe”.

Anti-integrationist commentators have been quick to realise that the foundation for the Lisbon referendum promised by David Cameron and William Hague has eroded.

If the Czech Constitutional Court rejects the new legal challenges and the Czech Republic finally ratifies the Lisbon Treaty, the Conservative Party’s EU policy enters uncharted “we won’t let matters rest there” territory.

The Klaus peg was amoral, but convenient for the Tories, who now feel the pressure building up.

Or should Cameron and Hague still hope, knowing Klaus’ erratic behaviour and that in his case only seeing is believing?

Ralf Grahn