Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pushing Mr.Klaus

Irish voters approved the treaty in a repeat referendum on Saturday.

A new 27-member European commission must be appointed by 31 October and new top jobs – notably that of EU president and foreign minister – are waiting to be filled.

Sweden currently holds the EU's rotating half-year presidency. Sweden's prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, said he had asked Javier Solana, the departing EU foreign and security affairs chief, not to move ahead to fill those jobs "until there is clarity" from Prague. LINK

The EU's game plan is to avoid the impression of putting pressure on Mr Klaus, in order to deprive him of the chance to portray himself as an heroic patriot helpless against foreign might.

European Union leaders made clear yesterday that they would not let Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president, hold them hostage by delaying his signature of the Lisbon treaty, a package of reforms approved by all 27 EU governments. Link

At an anti-treaty rally Saturday after the Irish vote for the treaty, only a few hundred people rallied outside Prague Castle, where Mr. Klaus has refused to hang the E.U. flag.

The demonstrators shouted “Long live Klaus” and “E.U. — the Fourth Reich.” One held a sign showing the E.U.’s yellow stars surrounding a communist hammer and sickle.

“I understand these slogans,” Mr. Klaus told his supporters. “I feel pretty much the same way as you do — though as the president I have to water it down a little.” Link

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, in uncharacteristically blunt language, called the latest attempt by Klaus' supporters to scuttle the treaty "absurd" and "irresponsible." Link

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