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Czech president won't sign ESM

When the Treaty of Lisbon was debated, Czech president Václav Klaus displayed some resistance, reflecting the will of all the Europeans who realize that such treaties are counterproductive. At the end, due to the nearly unanimous agreement of the "European political elite", he surrendered.



A related issue is being debated these days: ESM, the European Stability Mechanism known as the "eurowall" in Czechia (well, more precisely, "euroval" in Czech and Slovak but the similarly sounding English term is an almost exact translation, "val" is something like an embankment). It's been de facto working as an EU institution since October which is unusual because the Czech Republic hasn't ratified it yet. One hears diverse opinions on whether or not the ESM requires a modification of the Treaty of Lisbon.

This increasing vagueness of our legislative framework affected by the EU – even when it comes to rather big questions – seems worrisome to me.




Both chambers of the Czech Parliament agreed with the ratification half a year ago, in Spring 2012. Václav Klaus, our president, has however noticed that the ESM is a monstrosity.

Now, the article 63 of the Constitution of the Czech Republic clearly says that the president represents the country with respect to other countries and "negotiate[s] and ratif[ies] international treaties; he may delegate the negotiation of international treaties to the Government or, subject to the Government consent, to its individual members".

The language sounds pretty clear to me. After all, we also say that the chambers of the Parliament express their "consent" with the ratification. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court ruled some time ago that the president is "obliged" to ratify international treaties soon after they're endorsed by both chambers of the Parliament. A bizarre verdict, indeed. Klaus may have decided to ignore it but this approach may become irrelevant in March 2013 when he's replaced by a newly elected president.

A few days ago, the Senate which was overrun by the social democratic party in recent years has "ordered" Klaus to sign. But because he has studied all the related proposals and noticed that the ESM is a monstrosity, he won't sign it. See also Patria.cz and Reuters.

He said that he considered these walls to be monstrous, nonsensical, absurd things he would definitely not endorse by his signature in any case, regardless of what Mr or comrade Dienstbier Jr thinks about it. In his opinion, it is impossible to find any quick ways to improve the economy and any proposals to improve it will take years to be realized. Moreover, they have to arise in a political process, not as a result of the work of some ad hoc expert groups, he said during his meeting with managers.

Let's not get fooled by proposed fast, easy, and radical solutions and let's not take their apostles' bait. Let's reconcile ourselves with the fact that even if there were a political agreement, the subsequent implementation and the first effects of the policies will require a significant period of time. The current problems will therefore continue for several years. (Basic tendencies haven't changed in the recent year and if they have changed, they have changed to the worse. Bad trends continue and people's thinking is the main thing that has deteriorated.) And such policies can't be the product of NERV [Czech National Council of Economic Advisers] or a group of Nobel prize winners. The proposal for such policies must be shaping itself as a political process in the democratic system.
Klaus also said that the debt and eurozone troubles are just a tip of an iceberg:
To reduce the problem to some debt crisis in several states or a problem with the common currency means to misunderstand the depth and breadth of the current European problem.
He also said that some EU leaders are deluding themselves when the key assumptions of the EU process isn't in crisis:
It reminds me of our decades-long experiences in the previous regime. In fact, even the rhetorical tools are very similar.

We see that the belief – the almost communist belief – that the laws of the markets don't work and that politics may dictated the economy is strengthening once again.
It's my understanding that the ESM must be operating illegally or at least violate some common-sense understanding of sovereignty of the countries. While the monstrosity is only meant to distort the economic conditions in the eurozone and not the EU, all EU countries with the British exception (and maybe a few others who have an opt-out) are ultimately required to join the eurozone at some point. What the term "eurozone" meant was clear when we actually signed the EU accession treaty. I don't know whether it's legal according to some literal interpretations of the laws but it surely seems unethical to me if someone arbitrarily hijacks and distorts the content of the term "eurozone" so that it may become not just a monetary union but de facto fiscal union (partially [inter]nationalizing all the banks, to make it really bad) at the same moment. We just didn't sign that we would join a fiscal union – and we didn't sign we would join "anything" that someone would hide behind the words. At least we were led to believe that we weren't doing so.

The respect for national sovereignty, basic rights of the elected representatives, private ownership, and capitalism, freedom, and democracy in general is diminishing in Europe. It is doing so gradually which is why many people may fail to see what's going on but the process of the destruction is still immensely fast at the historical scale.

Four days ago, Moody downgraded ESM from AAA to Aa1 together with a similar move against France. Fitch confirmed AAA two days later.



You may also watch the Viscount on a camel.

Incidentally, Lord Monckton was expelled from the climate conference in Doha, Qatar. He made a harmless semi-joke. He sat on a chair of a country in Oceania, pressed a button, said he was representing the state, and informed the booing and screaming delegates that there's been no warming trend for 16 years and so on.

That's borderline naughty but still funny. The reaction wasn't funny – it looked like Monckton at least dared to be a Jew in the Nazi Germany – although the Lord said that nothing wrong happened. He was "banned for life" from U.N. climate conferences and stripped of a badge that was needed for the Qatari visa so he had 24 hours to leave the country. ;-)

Of course that the real reason why he was treated this harshly wasn't that he borrowed a microphone for a few seconds; the real reason is that he is not an unhinged alarmist crackpot like pretty much every other participant of this insane conference. That's so politically incorrect among them that you're not allowed to say such a thing even for a few seconds.

According to Russia Today, Lord Monckton officially crashed the event. After his monologue, important information which the participants were never supposed to hear, the failure seemed inevitable. Congratulations, Lord Monckton, that's what I call the right words at the right place and an aristocratic efficiency. ;-)

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reader Shannon said...

Yep. That's the way the world is going. The Truth is banned. And ESM is superseding our countries' sovereignty. We need guns. A lot.


reader Luboš Motl said...

You may be right even about the guns. Are you good at shoting? I think we may need you because my shooting abilities are clearly insufficient. ;-)


reader Shannon said...

I'm not great at shooting, I've tried a few times. I tell you what though, I'm good at kicking, slapping in the face, tear off T-shirts... I did it once to a woman burglar... She had to run away in her bra! in day light! in the village (in Ireland) :-) Later the cops told me she was a gypsy. It was funny.


reader Eamon Faceache said...

You have such a clever President. He dares to stand apart from the Political Class, who blindly follow the diktats of the EU like sheep.
I understand he used to be known as The Fox. That was from around 28 years ago, but I can see he hasn't lost any of his wisdom.