JEF folks with Vaclav Klaus portraitIt’s not a fun time politically in the two central European neighbours. Both are suffering a series of political travails. I blogged back in 2006 about Robert Fico’s unpleasant alliance in Slovakia – now the opposition are using the Reform Treaty as a tool against him, and making Brussels nervous as a result. The Centre for European Reform has an excellent piece about it.

Across the border things are not much better. The Czechs are trying to get their parliament to nominate a President – either the abrasive Václav Klaus for a further term, or his opponent Jan Å vejnar. As the Czech paper Lidove Noviny moans, the Czech Parliament is not capable of behaving with any dignity in this matter.

To lighten this post a bit I’ve dug out an old photo taken in 2003 with a couple of friends from JEF-CZ chuckling with a portrait of Klaus, a man never known for his commitment to European integration.


  1. The problem is that the Social Democratic Party has totally discredited itself by fundamentally changing its policies after every election. We can debate that sometime.

    Å vejnar is undoubtedly a better candidate. The Communists are now publicly pressuring the Greens and the Social Democrats to accept many concessions, otherwise they will let Klaus get elected. It makes me sick.

  2. Where’s the Czech version of David Lloyd George?
    A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head.

  3. The problem is that the “Left” has not managed to find anything decent – policies, behaviour or people. Even the Communist Youth has got a much larger membership base than the Young Social Democrats. I personally don’t know any young intelligent people who would be “left-wing”.


  4. Mari – thanks for the link… I’m not sure I can follow Czech politics on an everyday basis, but the site will be handy for future research.

    Tomáš – surely the problem is that the only strong and statesman(-ish) figure that Czech politics has produced since Havel is Klaus. The left or the centre has not managed to find anyone with an adequate degree of competence and determination. With left and right finely balance in the electorate, a better leader on either side would have a decent chance of attracting a lot of swing voters.

  5. Oh god, Podhry at his best..

    If Klaus loses, the Communists win a lot of concessions from the government. If Klaus wins, then we will have more of the same…crap. Sophie’s choice. The winner of the election – the Communist Party. Scheisse.

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