Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Václav Klaus - "a lone fighter for democracy among Europe's heads of state"

In his new book "The Shattering of Illusions", Czech President Václav Klaus argues that European "two-faced" politicians, including the British Conservatives, have opened the door to a European superstate: 
In his book, Europe: The Shattering of Illusions, to be published by Bloomsbury on Thursday, Mr Klaus makes the case that the EU has evolved into its current form because political leaders have found it convenient to turn away from their nation states, where voters have historically been able to hold them to account.
"Political elites have always known that the shift in decision-making from the national to the supranational level weakens the traditional democratic mechanisms (that are inseparable from the existence of the nation state), and this increases their power in a radical way. That is why they wanted this shift so badly in the past, and that is why they want it today," he writes.
"The authors of the concept of European integration managed to short circuit the minds of the people, making a link between Hitler's aggressive nationalism (nationalism of a totally negative type) and the traditional nation state, calling into question the existence of nation states in general. Of the many fatal mistakes and lies that have always underpinned the evolution of the EU, this is one of the worst."
Mr Klaus is genuinely baffled and aghast when describing his state visit to Italy last week, where he encountered what he called the "destructive mentality" of Italian politicians who were using the eurozone crisis to give up on democracy and to evade responsibility for running their country.
"It was really very depressing for me how many leading Italian politicians expressed the view that it is necessary to shift competences from Italy to Brussels because of one thing: they passively accept they are not able to make rational decisions themselves," he said. "They can now find the excuse or alibi that 'we are forced to do it'. I have never heard it before so explicitly or directly.
"It is a flight from accountability and responsibility. They have given up on the role and importance of democracy. That is the final and really tragic consequence."
With sadness, more than anger, he concludes that the Conservatives, in government under David Cameron, are no better than any other national politicians with "two faces", who "show one to their voters and the other when speaking in Brussels, at various EU summits and similar events."
"We see it best with the British Conservatives after Margaret Thatcher. With the full weight of public opinion behind them, sharply opposing the euro and any further transfer of powers to Brussels - winning many a vote thanks to this - as soon as they step on to the continent, their resolve to fight for these principles evaporates," he writes.
It is also interesting to note how positively Dr. Klaus speaks about the UKIP:
After the collapse of Communism, conservatives in the Czech Republic found natural allies in their Britain counterparts under Baroness Thatcher - a relationship that has continued, with members of Mr Klaus's party sitting in the grouping led by British Conservatives in the European Parliament.
But Mr Klaus himself is beginning to think beyond that. As Czech president he cannot act unilaterally, but he expresses his personal support for the UK Independence Party, a relationship that became closer after a recent meeting with its leader Nigel Farage, and he hinted at possible plans when his second and last term of office ends next March.
"Involvement in an explicit way is at the moment out of the question. I suppose in the long run, but definitely not as president of this country," he said, adding: "I support many of their ideas."
Read the entire article here
Another excellent analysis by Klaus. Bruno Waterfield´s characterization of Klaus as "a lone fighter for democracy among Europe´s heads of state" is spot on. Looking forward to reading the book!

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