Government prepares for constitutional clash

The government is prepared for a constitutional confrontation with President Václav Klaus if he persists in blocking the Lisbon treaty, the magazine Respekt reported on Monday. It says the government is considering asking the Czech Constitutional Court to rule whether President Klaus can continue to refuse signing the EU’s reforming treaty if his current demands are met and the court rules that the treaty is not in conflict with Czech law. Respekt says the government would ask the court's permission for the prime minister to ratify the treaty if it ruled against the president. The government is prepared to inform EU leaders of its stance at a summit at the end of this month, it adds.

President Klaus suggested in an interview on Saturday that the Lisbon treaty had gone too far to be stopped and that he could not delay ratification until British elections next spring.

Author: Chris Johnstone