EC President Herman van Rompuy in Prague

On a working visit to Prague the president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy said the EU had weathered the worst of economic crisis and the future of the euro was no longer at stake. He said the EU must now focus on jump starting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs in order to secure the return of financial stability. Prime Minister Petr Necas said that, while it was in the Czech Republic’s best interests to help the euro zone’s recovery, Prague was in no hurry to exchange the crown for the euro and such a decision would have to be made on the basis of a national referendum. Mr. Van Rompuy assured his host the European Council would not pressurize Prague on the matter, adding that since the Czech Republic did not fulfil the respective critieria for euro zone membership it was not an issue of the present day.

Mr van Rompuy also met with the Czech president, Miloš Zeman. The European Council president’s visit comes some three weeks after the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, attended the ceremony of hoisting the EU flag at Prague Castle.