• Sweden edition
 

Reinfeldt steps up pressure to ensure Lisbon treaty adoption

Published: 05 Oct 2009 14:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Oct 2009 14:09 GMT+02:00

Sweden's Fredrik Reinfeldt on Monday pushed the Czech Republic and Britain not to further delay passage of the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty.

After the Irish electorate voted last week in a referendum to approve the treaty, which streamlines EU institutions and creates the post of president of Europe, Czech President Vaclav Klaus is one of two key holdouts.

Klaus is already a eurosceptic but the Czech constitutional court has ordered him not to sign the treaty into force until it has reviewed the legality of the document.

If he delays the treaty long enough for Britain's Conservative Party to win a general election expected next year, they in turn could call for a new national referendum and freeze the implementation process.

Reinfeldt, speaking to the French daily Le Monde, said Klaus ought to sign the treaty within two or three weeks of the Czech court making its ruling.

"I have tried in vain to reach him by telephone," Reinfeldt told Le Monde.

"I've heard that he might be in Albania next week, but I've no idea what he really plans to do."

Poland is the other country still to ratify the treaty, but Britain's opposition Conservative party is also causing concern.

Reinfeldt said he has spoken to Conservative leader David Cameron who is favourite to win the British election and has promised a referendum on the treaty if it is not yet ratified.

"Making such a promise won't help him in terms of being Britain's probable next prime minister. For me, Britain is already a country that has ratified the treaty," the Swedish leader said.

"The British elections will be held by June at the latest. I hope for progress on the Czech side more quickly than that."

If the Czechs approve the treaty before the British vote it will enter into EU law. Cameron, while insisting he opposes the treaty, says he will not reopen the debate if it has already been approved.

France's minister for European affairs, Pierre Lellouche, also called on Prague and London not to stand in the way of the treaty.

There has been widespread speculation that if the treaty is rapidly approved former British prime minister Tony Blair will be chosen as the first EU president.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:17 October 5, 2009 by vladd777
I have always been very proud of my English roots. However, having researched the life and times of Tony Blair, I am not very happy at the thought of him becoming president of the EU.

I just don't know what he really stands for.

To tell the truth I'm very sceptical about this whole EU 'thing' and am wondering where it will all end.

I know from my experience of having lived in South Africa for many years, that tribalism and integration do not sit well together.
15:52 October 5, 2009 by Shanie
This is a problem that faced the Irish voters, and partly a reason that the yes vote was in doubt both times, Politicians from other countries that most people were barely aware of, trying to pressurise a country into voting a certain way.

In Ireland it came from Sarkozy and Merkel, and in all honesty it did not help the cause, I am sure that it actually had a negative effect in the minds of many.

This pressure is not helpful and as was the case in Ireland, it was accompanied by the never vebalised but easily felt threat of being ostracised from the European community. Threats, pressure and democracy do not exactly go hand in hand in modern Europe, or at least they should not.

I think pressurising these nationally proud countries is not the way to proceed, especially in the case of the British people being allowed a referendum on the matter.
20:32 October 5, 2009 by michel_cl
I am just disgusted.

Is this democracy? Pushing a nation to vote (by the way, under the scare of further disastrous economic crises) until "it votes right"?

Or even by-passing people's vote by ratifying the Treaty through Parliaments? Is this democracy?

Are the media discussing what the content of the treaty is?

Do people know that the Treaty authorizes and supports death penalty for "riots or insurrection"?

Does democratic Sweden know this?

There is a name for this: tyranny.

The choice of Blair is not surprising: he'd be perfect to seal end of democratic states and enter a new era of euro-tyranny. Although only a few seem to remark.

We'll all be crying, and luckily soon.

The sooner the bitter, the sooner the cure.
23:19 October 5, 2009 by mkvgtired
"Is this democracy? Pushing a nation to vote (by the way, under the scare of further disastrous economic crises) until "it votes right"?"

Very true. The recent vote in Ireland obviously tried to capitalize on the current recession...and it worked!

It seems like the original EC nations (namely France and Germany) seem to think the EU is a special vehicle just for them to pressure their neighbors into doing what they want. How is it that the Lisbon treaty, which is supposed to unify and support member nations, can only be passed through threats of economic punishment. The last hope is the UK or the Czech Republic. European is not an identity. The Spanish are different than the Polish. The Brits are different than the Greeks. The French are different than the Germans. When is the EU going to stop pretending this is not the case. Those who are skeptical of a one size fits all government for so many diverse cultures should not be forced into submission through the threats of economic sanctions.
00:00 October 6, 2009 by zircon
And what guarantees will be given to the Czechs?
00:34 October 6, 2009 by Fonzerella
It's plainly obvious to all what a complete mess Blair and Brown have made of the UK. Brown is certain to be booted into touch at the first opportunity, that's why he's squeezing every last day out of his unelected reign.

Why then should we trust in these clowns when they tell us that this constitution, treaty or whatever name you give it, is good for us?

They lied about a referendum, lied about tax and have bankrupt the country.

It's plainly obvious that the Irish were bullied and caved in due to their recession which is basically a sell-out. Now the unelected and very rich spongers in Brussels are desparately trying to nail everyone down before the Brits get a chance to have their say. They know what the outcome will be and they're scared.

The French said NO, the Dutch said NO, the Irish said NO so the Brits along with with the help of the Czechs are democracy's last hope of survival in modern day Europe.

Sorry Mr Reinfeldt but if you believed Britain was already 'in' then why so desparate to speak to Mr Cameron?

Truth is, I think Mr Cameron will call a referendum regardless of it being ratified. If he shows his hand now, the remaining countries will simply sign it knowing the Brits will bring it down later. So fair play to David he will stand up for the people and so I believe will Mr Klaus - two people that are in politics to serve their people and not to leach for eternity (Mr Brown & all unelected Euro rubbish)

Worth a mention - If you believe all the rubbish spouted about being sidelined if you vote no - take a look at Norway and Switzerland, they're doing very well indeed!
14:59 October 6, 2009 by honza
Folks,

I am from the Czech Rep. All on-line newspapers here do surveys among their readers. You can choose everywhere "are you for or against Lis. T." ... as I could see - majority of Czechs is against - I am one of them.

I reckon that we have discussion about it, we talk about it whenever we can (coffee shops, barbers´ ... everywhere) - because we have time and we still believe that at least a bit of democracy for us from EU to decide :)

How can I be "for" when EU´s pressure is in the way of threat (we won´t give a seat of commisar to Czechs when they are against ... and similary).

I wish bright minds to our justiciary judges when deciding if LT is good or not.

We do NOT HAVE TO (=
17:11 October 9, 2009 by skylarkpilot
Hi Folks,

The last thing anyone in Europe needs is the Lisbon treaty. It pretty much gives away national powers on major issues to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. It is the end of true democracy and the potential starting place for a dictatorship. Has Europe really learned nothing in the last hundred years.

As for David Cameron being any different, don't hold your breath. If the Czechs vote in favour it is improbable that Cameron would want to stand against the rest of Europe alone.

Tony Blair, when should he becomes president, will do what Tony Blair always does. That is, whatever's right for Tony Blair.

Sorry to burst your balloon euro wannabes, but if this all goes ahead I promise you it does not end well.

Like Churchill said, if you fail to learn the lessons of history you are doomed to repeat it's mistakes.
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