Czech president compares EU to communists

Despite ratifying the Lisbon Treaty this week, the Czech Republic seems hell-bent on offending the European Union as much as possible while it holds the organization’s rotating presidency. First it was that sculpture, then yesterday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus — an outspoken Euroskeptic — spoke to the European parliament and compared them to a communist ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
588355_090220_klaus5.jpg
588355_090220_klaus5.jpg

Despite ratifying the Lisbon Treaty this week, the Czech Republic seems hell-bent on offending the European Union as much as possible while it holds the organization's rotating presidency. First it was that sculpture, then yesterday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus -- an outspoken Euroskeptic -- spoke to the European parliament and compared them to a communist dicatorship:

"Here, only one single alternative is being promoted and those who dare thinking about a different option are labelled as enemies of European integration. Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives."

Despite ratifying the Lisbon Treaty this week, the Czech Republic seems hell-bent on offending the European Union as much as possible while it holds the organization’s rotating presidency. First it was that sculpture, then yesterday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus — an outspoken Euroskeptic — spoke to the European parliament and compared them to a communist dicatorship:

“Here, only one single alternative is being promoted and those who dare thinking about a different option are labelled as enemies of European integration. Not so long ago, in our part of Europe we lived in a political system that permitted no alternatives.”

A number of MEPs walked out in a huff.

Say what you will about Klaus, the guy’s not afraid to speak his mind. Jiri Pehe wrote about his unconventional views on global warming in the May/June issue of FP. (Hint: He compares environmentalists to communists too.)

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.