Topolánek set for working lunch with Sarkozy in Paris on Friday

Prime Minister Topolánek has accepted an invitation to hold a working lunch with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris on Friday, the news website novinky.cz reported. The two leaders are due to discuss the rotating presidency of the EU, the global financial crisis and the Lisbon treaty. There has been speculation that France would like to extend its EU presidency, thus depriving Prague of its first turn in the president’s chair. However, Czech officials have dismissed the idea, saying EU rules are EU rules. Suggestions France could play a leading role in an informal eurozone group within the EU have also been questioned by the Czech government; the Czech deputy prime minister for European Affairs, Alexander Vondra, said such a development would divide the bloc rather than unifying it. The Czech Republic has not adopted the common European currency.

Author: Ian Willoughby