French PM links low turnout at EU elections to ‘unacceptable’ Czech EU presidency

11-06-2009

The French prime minister Francois Fillon has criticized the Czech EU presidency and linked Prague’s governance of the bloc to the low turnout at European elections across the continent this weekend. Addressing the French Parliament, Mr Fillon said that, under the Czech presidency, the European Union had returned to its classic approach of slowly finding the least bad consensus and that this Europe of ‘small steps and compromises’ was ‘wholly unacceptable’. In his damning speech, Mr Fillon said that European citizens did not agree with this approach and had voiced their protest by failing to turn out at this weekend’s elections to the European Parliament. Former Czech Prime Minister and former head of the Czech EU presidency Mirek Topolánek brushed aside Mr Fillon’s criticism on Wednesday. Speaking to Czech paper Pravo, he dismissed Mr Fillon’s criticisms as small-minded.