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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 ...

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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

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