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Crisi in Cechia, crisi in Europa

Euro-topics – MAIN FOCUS
European Press Review of 26/03/2009
After the government collapse in Prague
After the no confidence vote against the government of Mirek Topolánek in Prague the European press voices concern for the future of the EU, which is currently led by the Czech Republic. The crisis shows how national conflicts can unsettle the entire community of states.
NRC Handelsblad – Netherlands
The European Union is a victim of the events in Prague, the national daily NRC Handelsblad writes: “Europe is operating in an institutional no-man’s-land because the Irish rejected the Treat of Lisbon in their referendum and the Czech Republic has yet to ratify it. … The heads of government Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy prefer to seek a joint approach among themselves. The parliament in Prague has exacerbated what was already a difficult situation. The opposition in Prague has paved the way for President Václav Klaus to continue his battle against a Europe that is more than just a single market, and thus dealt the Treaty of Lisbon yet another blow. The crisis in the Czech Republic confirms once more the relevance of and need for that very treaty. For it foresees a permanent president for the European Council and can put an end to this situation in which the domestic policies of a temporary president are carried out at the expense of the 26 other member states.” (26/03/2009) » full article (external link, Dutch)
Romania Libera – Romania
The situation of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek will also put a strain on the diplomatic relations of the EU, which is currently under the Czech presidency, the daily Romania Libera writes: “We find ourselves in a strange situation in which the EU is to be led for another three months by a team of politicians that can’t even rule its own country. (The Czech opposition … has announced that although it has ceased to trust Topolánek’s government it is convinced that he can lead the EU until the summer. …) Another option would be for Czech President Václav Klaus, the only winner in this debacle, to appoint a new prime minister who would then form a new government and at the same time lead the EU. Europeans are even less enthusiastic at this prospect. It entails the risk of putting a non-elected politician in charge of the EU who would represent Europe in talks with [US President Barack] Obama, [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev and others.” (26/03/2009) » full article (external link, Romanian)
die tageszeitung – Germany
The toppling of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek won’t just harm the government in Prague, the left-leaning daily die tageszeitung writes: “The European Union can no longer afford to have six-month apprentices as president. We expect no less from the leader of the Union than a solid monetary policy, a stabilisation of the financial markets, a coherent energy policy and the safeguarding of energy supplies – to name just a few of the problems at hand. But to make matters worse, the government crisis in Prague is also blocking the necessary European constitutional reform, because it serves Czech president Václav Klaus as a pretence for putting off signing the Treaty of Lisbon. And so the putsch of the supposedly Europe-friendly Czech Social Democrats harms not only their own government, but all of Europe.” (26/03/2009) » full article (external link, German)
El País – Spain
“The worst fears of the EU regarding the Czech presidency have been confirmed”, writes the Spanish daily El País after the government of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek was toppled on Tuesday. “It is unfortunate that at the summit meeting between the EU and the US, President Barack Obama will be photographed together with a Topolánek who has no say in things and who in addition delivered a very undiplomatic speech to the European Parliament yesterday, in which he opposed the plans of the new US president. It is also a shame that Prague will speak for the entire Union at the G20 summit. But even worse is the fact that EU had long thought the only hurdle to the acceptance of the Treaty of Lisbon was Ireland, which will hold another referendum on the treaty at the end of the year. However the Czech disaster complicates things even further. With Czech President Václav Klaus throwing his weight around, it is more than likely that the Treaty of Lisbon will once more be put on ice.” (26/03/2009) » full article (external link, Spanish)
Hospodářské noviny – Czech Republic
The toppled Czech prime minister and current EU Council President Mirek Topolánek has for the first time openly accused Czech President Václav Klaus of pulling the strings behind the government crisis. The business daily Hospodářské Noviny writes that Klaus must also solve the crisis: “In times of crisis – as so often in Czech history – everything depends on the president. Under normal circumstances a no confidence vote is a routine occurrence. However the current circumstances are far from normal. The Czech Republic is at the helm of the EU in the midst of a dire crisis, and the country’s reputation is at stake. A president of stature, such as Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk oder Václav Havel, would defuse the situation with a few words: ‘I am not appointing a new prime minister for the duration of the EU presidency.’ … How Klaus will act is a mystery to everyone but himself. But perhaps he should remember May 1997. When the country was headed for a monetary crisis, President Havel gave his full support to Klaus, who was prime minister at the time. And that even though Klaus was anything but Havel’s idea of the ideal leader.” (26/03/2009) » full article (external link, Czech)
VEDI tutto questo su Euro-topics
Su Gazeta Wyborcza
Daniel Gros, szef brukselskiego Centrum Studiów nad Polityką Europejską
Prezydent Vaclav Klaus bardzo lubi być kontrowersyjny, być może stąd jego wypowiedź o tym, kto dokończy prezydencję. To, co się dzieje w Czechach, niezależnie od tego, kto ostatecznie zostanie premierem, szkodzi image’owi Unii. Prezydencję jakoś uda się dokończyć. Niektóre kwestie będą się toczyć dalej niejako same, choć z pewnością w bardziej powolnym rytmie. Prawdziwe niebezpieczeństwo leży jednak gdzie indziej. Ta sytuacja wzmocni jeszcze przekonanie dużych krajów UE, że konieczny jest traktat lizboński [który daje Unii stałego prezydenta]. Uznają one, że jeśli Irlandczycy czy Czesi nie chcą współpracować, to trzeba iść naprzód bez nich i będą próbowali ustanowić jakąś ściślej współpracującą Unię w mniejszym gronie.
Népszabadság – Hungary – The need for reform
Su Euro-topics – The left-liberal daily Népszabadság compares the four European countries whose governments have collapsed under the burden of the global economic crisis: Latvia, the Czech republic, Hungary and Iceland. “The Latvian centre-right parties lost no time reshuffling the cards and Riga now has a new government; Iceland is holding new elections next month, the Czech Republic will probably follow suit in October, but in Hungary there’s a big question mark over everything. … What ultimately caused the fall of conservative [Mirek] Topolánek and Social Democrat [Ferenc] Gyurcsány is the growing anti-reformist trend in politics. Under pressure from either the opposition (Topolánek) or one’s own party (Gyurcsány) they were repeatedly forced to beat a retreat. … All the political forces in Central and Eastern Europe need to finally realise that in the midst of the crisis there is no other option but to initiate cost-cutting and reformist measures.” (30/03/2009)

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