Commenters and politicians in Europe appear to take the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty for granted. Speculations, nominations and campaigning for the top posts is rampant. The Czech President is not taken seriously and an object of ridicule all through Europe. “Couldn’t someone carry this man out of the Presidential Palace” writes a normally serious blog by the Brussels representation of the Swedish Trade Unions under the heading “Reinfeldt would tear his hair if he had any.” (Reinfeldt is the Swedish Prime Minister presently Chairman of the European Council and a bald man).
We fear this might be a great illusion. During a recent meeting with Russian President Medvedev, Klaus smilingly told the TV crews that he would never sign the Treaty unless it was changed. (Medvedev also smiled.) Obviously, new negotiations are out of the question but this seems to be exactly what Klaus insists on. A less formal decision by the Heads of State has been seen as a possible way out. A spokesperson for the Austrian government has clearly stated that the only acceptable solution for their part would be a unilateral declaration by the Czech, something that obviously would not satisfy Mr. Klaus, particularly not since his real objective is to postpone ratification until after the British elections.
That the Sudeten issue is dynamite in Austrian politics may not be well understood outside the country. It is unthinkable