Who’s going to pay attention to Vaclav Klaus once the Lisbon Treaty gets signed? That may the question sitting at the core of the Czech president’s dithering over whether to sign the document that’s intended to increase the efficiency of an expanded European Union. Perhaps the reformer-turned-populist professor is worried that only the ultra-greens will bother with him when he trots out his trademark anti-environmental yammerings. Otherwise, he’s unlikely to get a listen from a world that’s moved on in virtually every aspect of life. His only hope is that like bell bottom jeans and mini skirts, his brand of politics could come back into fashion some day.
His alleged reason for not wanting to sign the treaty goes back to the tired argument about Sudeten Germans trying to get back property they or their ancestors owned before the Czechs threw them out after WWII. Didn’t the whole evil Sudeten schtick go out of style way back in, like, the late 1990’s? The Germans have a good word for this sort of cheap argument: peinlich. In Czech, it’s trapný.