Prime Minister defends Czech refusal to join EU fiscal compact in lower house of Parliament
Prime Minister Petr Nečas presented his reasons for not signing the EU’s planned fiscal compact in the lower house of Parliament on Thursday. He said that the government had given him limited authority to sign the compact. For this reason, he was not able to give a clear “yes” or “no” at the EU summit in Brussels, where 25 out of 27 EU member states signed the new treaty, which aims to establish greater fiscal responsibility across Europe. The prime minister added that since the final draft of the treaty had been negotiated at the summit, it would not have been possible to analyze its consequences prior to signing it. However, he noted that nothing stood in the way of the Czech Republic being able to sign the fiscal compact at a later stage. Aside from the Czech Republic, the only EU member to not sign the treaty was the UK.
The Czech refusal to join the EU’s fiscal compact sparked a verbal crossfire in the government. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg slammed Mr. Nečas’s decision, stating that he had damaged the country’s interests.