The President of the Czech Republic says he will not drop his objections to the Lisbon treaty nor will he ratify it unless it is amended.
Vaclav Klaus re-affirmed his stance after meeting the Russian President outside Moscow. The charter has been ratified by all other EU nations. Only his signature is missing. “I fear a deepening of European Union integration,” Klaus said. The Czech President believes the treaty, aimed at streamlining EU decision-making, will erode the authority of elected national governments. He wants a partial opt out from it, as well as guarantees that Germans expelled after World War II won’t be able to reclaim their Czech property after the pact goes into effect. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned the country could lose its Commissioner if it doesn’t fall into line. The President isn’t the only stumbling block. The country’s Constitutional Court hears a challenge to the treaty in late October. But even if that is dismissed, Klaus is expected to stall until next year and the UK election. Conservative leader David Cameron is in favour of holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if he wins.