Central Europe Activ

Klaus Did It!

It looks that the funny year of the Czech is over: Klaus has signed the Lisbon Treaty. The year started with David Cerny’s fascinating Entropa, a piece of art that revealed the surreal and cruel nature of the bonds that tie old and new Europe together.
The Czech presidency, always prone to gaffe, panicked after it turned out that Cerny has found what stinks, later it shot itself in the foot and the government that held the rotating presidency collapsed. It could have been an empirical evidence that the Niece Treaty must be replaced with the Lisbon Treaty, but Dr Klaus, who happens to be the head of state in this funny country has a reverted logic. The Czech Republic has proven to function rather well with a caretaker government for nine month a few years ago, why could not Europe go on without a presidency?
Mr Klaus, when he is not serving his people, writes books about the nicety of global warming, found silly excuses to be the guy who makes it into the history books with not signing an international treaty that the representatives of his people want him sign. When the Constituional Court of his country refused his right to do so for the second time, he stopped hurting his people’s interest and playing with the patience of 26 other heads of states. He did sign the document after a shameless speech. (More about this event here).

I think Mr Klaus’ behavior and the Czech presidency’s story shows how difficult life can be in a Central European polity and why citizens in these countries trust the EU bureaucracy more than their own governments.

Mr Cerny has just given an excellent interview to the Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs which covers this issue in great length – I will come back with a rough translation. Senile is the most benign word he uses to describe the last man signing the treaty.

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