The days of constant criticism of the European Union from the office of the Czech president are coming to a close, as the CTK news agency says that none of the candidates to replace the eccentric Euro skeptic Vaclav Klaus next March is nearly so virulently opposed to the grouping.
In fact, that’s putting it mildly. Not surprisingly, the only candidate with anything that borders on an interesting or unique view of things is former prime minister Miloš Zeman. He envisions greater cooperation between the less powerful voices in the EU sticking together more to avoid domination from the big countries. Fight the man…At least it’s a decent premise.
But things go downhill from there. Another former PM Jan Fischer says that Czech national interests shouldn’t oppose EU interests, saying that security and economic prosperity are the most important issues.
And it doesn’t get any better.
Foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg’s patriotism goes only as far as the rather obvious goal of preserving the Czech nation and language, and he performs logical somersaults by insisting that EU membership is the only way to achieve this. Meanwhile, the non-descript Premysl Sobotka espouses an unintelligible belief in controlling the national economy and foreign policy, in coordination with EU partners. This kind of inane babble makes watching paint dry on a wall sound exciting. Or vote for this guy.
In other words, as difficult as it is to say: Klaus will be missed (at least by journalists), and the era of interesting Czech presidents looks to be over. Which is perhaps as it should be.