Mar 25, 2009

Czech Government Collapses Ahead of EU Summit

By Chris Perver

Mirek Topolanek has resigned as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic following a vote of no confidence in his administration yesterday. The fall of the Czech government follows similar developments in Latvia and Hungary in recent weeks, as the financial crisis deepens in eastern Europe. But the resignation of Mirek Topolanek is expected to cause even greater problems further afield, as the European Union is now essentially without a president. The Czech Republic was only three months into its six month presidency of the European Union. The Czech parliament was also in the middle of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, which will create the permanent posts of EU President and Foreign Minister and give the European Union its own legal identity on the world stage. The collapse of the Czech government is also likely to complicate matters at the G20 summit in London next week, as the heads of the European Union meet to debate measures to ease the financial crisis.
"The Czech cabinet is expected to stay on until the country's controversial eurosceptic president, Vaclav Klaus, appoints a new administration or until after new national election. But Mr Topolanek's political demise will also create a political vacuum ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Europe for the G20 talks and an EU-US summit to be held in Prague on April 5. "Will it be an empty chair? Who is going to represent the EU presidency and Europe? It could not come at a worse time," said one official. The Czech PM had been expected to represent the EU at next week's G20 meeting in London before playing host to Mr Obama in Prague for a symbolic meeting next weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. "This episode is going help the case for a permanent EU President under the Lisbon Treaty," said a Brussels diplomat.
The fall of the right-wing government came just a month after its President expressed reservations about the Lisbon Treaty, and warned that bureaucrats in Brussels were attempting to recreate a "Soviet bloc in Europe".
"A longstanding Eurosceptic and admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Klaus remains scornful of attempts to impose the Lisbon treaty on an unwilling electorate. He said the treaty contained measures to give unelected officials in Brussels "even more power". Irish voters who threw out the treaty in a referendum last year "knew what they were doing", Klaus added, and he was not certain that the second vote which has been called will have a different outcome: "But the pressure will be enormous and not very democratic." He talked of a "democratic deficit" in the EU when he addressed the European parliament last month. In his interview, conducted by e-mail, he explained: "I see the democratic deficit in a growing distance between the citizens of the EU member states and the EU political elite, as well as in the shift of decision making from the member states' capitals to Brussels." About 75% of legislation was made in the EU by unelected officials, he said. The Lisbon treaty would give the EU its own legal personality and would abolish important rights of veto: "This certainly is not a solution to the democratic deficit. It makes the democratic deficit even greater." Klaus refused to say whether he would agree to sign the treaty, which has yet to be passed by the Czech Senate, if and when it arrives on his desk. "I don't wish to foresee ... what happens after that; let’s wait for the Senate's decision," he said.
The European Commission has stated that the Czech presidency of the European Union has its full support. But I can't help getting the feeling that some in the European Commission may have viewed the Czech presidency of the EU as an obstacle to the 'reforms' they want to bring in. When the European presidency was transferred from France to the Czech Republic, the Czech Prime Minister rebuffed an off-the-record bribe from French President Nicholas Sarkozy, which would have permitted him to remain leader of his Union for the Mediterranean despite not being leader of the EU. The Czech Prime Minister also expressed support for Israel during the recent conflict in Gaza, stating correctly that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas, which had recently renewed its rocket attacks against Israeli citizens. For that the Czech government was criticized by other leaders in the European Union. And last month the Czech President told the European Union what he really thought of them, and was booed by MEPs for his efforts. While the fall of the Czech government will cause problems for Europe, I feel that the solutions that will be proposed will not be for the benefit of European citizens or our freedoms. This financial crisis is fast becoming a political crisis, and there can be no doubt that the pressure will be on for the Irish Republic and the remaining governments of the European Union to ratify the Lisbon Treaty as soon as possible. The world needs a man who can restore public trust in the political system and gain control of the world's financial systems. Anyone?
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ~ Daniel 7:24-27
Source Links

Czech government forced from office -
Czech Republic joins East Europe's falling dominoes -
Brussels ‘recreating Soviet bloc in Europe’ - Times Online
Czechs, next EU president, defend Israeli strikes - YnetNews