29 January 2007

Merkel’s Banging Her Head Against A Brick Wall.

Czech Government Forms

After seven months and two failed attempts, the right-wing ODS party have finally formed a coalition government with the Greens and some liberals due to some pre-arranged abstentions in the crucial confidence vote from the Socialists. Relations between the new PM - the ODS’s Mirek Topolanek - and President Klaus are very poor and Klaus’s reputation has been tarnished by the tortuous saga. Anyway, we will start having some Czech political news. Hurrah.

Merkel In Prague!

On that theme, readers may be interested to know that on Friday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Prague for four hours of meetings to push a new version of the EU constitution. My understanding is that the new version of the constitution remains a good door-stop.

Earlier last week, Mirek Topolanek appointed chief euro-sceptic MEP Jan Zahradil as his special envoy for the EU constitution during Germany’s upcoming EU presidency. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Mr Zahradil’s dislike of the EU is visceral, but he does make Bill Cash look like a Europhile. 75% of Czech MEPs voted against the constitution and Czechs don’t appreciate Germans giving orders. The Germans seem determined to force EU issues centre-stage during their presidency. What is Merkel playing at?

Update

It is being reported in the Czech press that Merkel did indeed run into a big no. Interesting that it was reported that she wouldn't meet Cameron when he recently visited Germany because of his policy to leave the EPP. Klaus and Topolanek appear far more euro-sceptic than Dave. Also, the Socialists are calling Topolanek's appointment of Zahradil "provocative". I can see what they mean *grins*.

3 comments:

james higham said...

...My understanding is that the new version of the constitution remains a good door-stop...

I can think of a fine use for it in the little room.

Anonymous said...

The best Constitution ist the Charta der Grundrechten

www.praesidentin.de

T said...

Hi Praguetory, nice to read a couple of your thoughts on the newly formed govt. and the Constitutional treaty. I was amazed by the Economist comments, so I put the up:

http://www.tomasjirsa.com/2007/01/economist-magazine-sceptical-of-czech.html