Klaus speech in European Parliament draws boos as well as applause

19-02-2009

Czech President Václav Klaus, a firm opponent of greater European integration, has strongly criticised the European Union in the European Parliament. Speaking before lawmakers on Thursday, Mr Klaus criticised the EU for attempting to shift the brunt of decision-making to Brussels to the detriment of individual states and also criticised the EU’s approach on the economy. His speech was greeted at points by applause but also by boos and opposition: some MEPs demonstratively left the room. Mr Klaus’s appearance follows that of Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in January, who spoke in the European Parliament shortly after the Czech Republic took up the rotating EU presidency.