Posts Tagged ‘EU presidency’

The New Good Soldier Švejk

Monday, January 12th, 2009

So, Prague’s become an honorary capital of Europe for the period the EU presidency! The Prime Minister is already boasting of his success in negotiating gas supply for Europe over the weekend (so we continue to be warm, and hope you are warm too. Better not think of what it’ll cost though!).

One just wonders how this EU presidency will continue. The other day, the Financial Times’s Tony Barber had an interesting observation regarding another key person in Czech life – not the Prime Minister, but the famous President of the country, who upon having to welcome the European Commission into Prague clearly showed his disdain towards the whole thing, and did his best to insult the president of the Commission. Apologies to those who are getting fed up by our interest in this personality, but we just can’t stop being amazed. Barber suggests Klaus has what it takes to be the 21st century’s Good Soldier Švejk. Hmm, not so sure… But wonder what others think.

Here’s the aforementioned column – titled “Vaclav Klaus poops the EU’s party at Prague Castle”!

– Lina & Keith

The Czech Presidency of the European Union

Monday, January 5th, 2009

As the clock struck midnight on 31 December the Presidency of the European Union rotated from the French Government to the Czech Government. Now, for six months, Prague holds the limelight in EU affairs.

There could not be a bigger contrast in attitudes to Europe than between the head of State in France, Nicolas Sarkozy and the very Euro-sceptic Czech President, Vaclav Klaus. Klaus has already made clear the EU flag will not fly over Prague Hrad and the Czech Prime Minister and his colleagues will no doubt do all they can to keep President Klaus out of the European agenda and limelight in an effort not to be embarrassed. Klaus, right-wing economic libertarian admirer of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, has no time for Europe, believes climate change is a lot of nonsense and enjoys creating political storms in various tea-cups. (more…)