Czech leader Klaus hopes EU treaty will be 'blocked'

Czech President Klaus welcomed a decision by his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski, who has refused to sign the document following its rejection by Irish voters in a referendum last month.

Czech leader Klaus hopes EU treaty will be 'blocked'
Czech President Vaclav Klaus hopes either the country's Constitutional Court or the upper house of parliament will block adoption of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, he said in a newspaper interview on Thursday.

Speaking to the daily Lidove Noviny, the euro-sceptic president declined to say if he would sign the treaty upon ratification by parliament.

But he welcomed a decision by his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski, who has refused to sign the document following its rejection by Irish voters in a referendum last month.

"I hope that the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty will be prevented here either by the Constitutional Court or the Senate (upper house)," Klaus said.

The Lisbon Treaty is intended to streamline the bloc's institutions after the accession of central and eastern European countries in 2004. Klaus opposes it because it reduces the power of individual states in decision-making.

The treaty must be ratified by all 27 member states to come into force. A number of EU countries headed by France are pushing for the ratification process to go ahead despite the Irish rejection.

But the Czechs cannot continue ratification until the Constitutional Court rules if it conforms with Czech law. The ruling is expected in the autumn.

Klaus does not have much executive power but wields influence within the ruling right-wing Civic Democratic Party and its members of the Senate. He also signs international treaties.

The government, led by Civic Democrat chief Mirek Topolanek, signed the treaty and Topolanek has been cautious about how to go forward, buying time by saying no decisions could be made ahead of the court ruling.

The Lisbon Treaty must be approved by three-fifths majority in both houses of parliament, which is impossible without support from at least some Civic Democrats.


Reuters
Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2008, 15:30
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