A bid to have just one leader per country at this Sunday’s special EU economic summit in Brussels has raised tensions. Not only has Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he will go anyway, even though Prime Minister Donald Tusk is supposed to represent their country, but senior diplomats have acknowledged that cliques have formed in more number than ever.
Differences pit free-traders against protectionists, and make new EU countries wary of the older, richer ones. The Czech EU presidency has said the top priority is getting the banks to lend to each other again and dealing with with devalued assets. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is said to want at all costs to avoid having eurosceptic President Vaclav Klaus at the table. Klaus last week shared his view (that over-regulation caused this crisis) with the European Parliament and brought the house down.