The Czech delegation came to Thessalonica with a clear position on all issues but one - a possible reference to the Christian tradition in the drafted EU constitution. The proposal to mention Christian roots of European culture in the preamble comes from the European People's Party. In the predominantly atheist Czech Republic, the idea, promoted by the Christian Democrats, sparked controversy in parliament. Particularly agitated were some MPs for the main opposition Civic Democrats and the ruling Social Democrats - they accused Christian Democrat Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda of trying to smuggle in a Catholic flag alongside those of the European nations. But, Mr Svoboda told Radio Prague the point was to mention all main spiritual traditions, not just a reference to one God or only Christian values.
"It seems to me that the problem is not a reference to the word 'God' but to the Christian values or the Christian roots. In the Convention, there are representatives who represent different political streams and factions. It is obvious to everybody that the Christian Democrats, the EPP, will defend the idea that the Christian roots belong to the key elements in the integration process, of course, together with some others: the Jewish tradition, humanism, etc. It is not the only one root, but there are also others."
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