Ireland says “yes”, Czech president stalling


With Ireland reporting a clear “yes” vote in Friday’s repeat referendum on the Lisbon treaty, the focus is now on the Czech and Polish presidents who have yet to ratify the document. Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said he would sign the treaty on Monday but in Prague President Václav Klaus has given no indication whether he plans to sign it or not. He pointed out that he is bound by law to await the outcome of a Constitutional Court ruling on whether the treaty is in line with Czech legislation, a process that could take between six weeks and six months.

Speaking shortly after news of the Irish vote came through, Mr. Klaus said he was not happy with the outcome and criticized the fact that the Irish had been asked to vote on the treaty twice, until they produced the expected answer. The Czech president who is a staunch opponent of the treaty and what he calls a federalist Europe is now expected to come under severe pressure to sign the treaty both from the EU and on the domestic scene.