Czech Republic joins Great Britain in rejecting fiscal treaty

The Czech Republic on Friday joined Great Britain in refusing to sign the EU’s fiscal treaty aimed at enforcing budget discipline within the block. The Czech prime minister who met with his British counterpart David Cameron ahead of the EU summit, made it clear that in its present form the treaty was disadvantageous for the Czech Republic in enforcing conditions and fines without allowing the country, which in not a eurozone member, to actively participate in all euro zone summits. He moreover stressed that he considered it far more important to deepen the common market and increase the competitiveness of the 27-member block. The prime minister’s decision to stay out of the treaty has divided the Czech political scene with the coalition TOP 09 and the opposition Social Democrats strongly opposing the move. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who is the head of TOP 09, made it clear at the summit he was deeply dissatisfied with the Czech stand.