Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus.
The Lisbon Treaty has advanced too far to be stopped, Czech president Vaclav Klaus – who has been withholding his signature and blocking full European Union ratification of the treaty – in an interview published on October 17 2009.
Speaking to Lidovy Noviny, Klaus also appeared to distance himself from earlier statements attributed to him that he would sign the treaty only if a special deal would exempt the Czech Republic from rights clauses that, Klaus had been reported as saying, could open the way for German land claims in his country.
Bulgaria’s Dnevnik, reporting the Lidovy Noviny interview, said that Klaus had said that the treaty was not good for Europe, for freedom in Europe or for the Czech Republic, but " the train has already travelled so fast and so far that I guess it will not be possible to stop it or turn it around, however much we would wish to".
Although the Czech parliament approved the treaty earlier this year, euroskeptic Klaus has been holding out against signing it, and senators reportedly allied to him have mounted a constitutional court challenge against it. The court is expected to pronounce its judgment on October 27.
Klaus said that the treaty was an attempt to create a European super-state that would remove the sovereignty of individual countries.
In the interview, he denied that he had wanted a special clause, that would have to be ratified by other EU states, to ensure that the Czech Republic would not be open to real estate claims from Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War 2.
"I never said that a special clause must be ratified by the other countries together with the text of the treaty. Moreover, I never said that guarantees similar to those which the European Council gave the Irish people would not satisfy me." Ireland has guarantees that it would be able to have control at national level on issues such as termination of pregnancy.
Klaus also denied that he was trying to delay the Lisbon process to allow time for the UK parliamentary elections scheduled for 2010, generally believed certain to see victory for Conservative leader David Cameron, who has said that the UK would hold a referendum on withdrawing its approval of Lisbon.
"I cannot and I will not wait for British elections, unless they hold them in the next few days or weeks," Klaus said.