Sarkozy truer Vaclav Klaus

EUSSREuObserver: – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned the Czech Republic that it will have to face «consequences» if it continues to delay final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty following a Yes vote in a referendum in Ireland next month.

Speaking after a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday (17 September), Mr Sarkozy was careful to praise Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer as a «man of great quality» before taking a clear sideswipe at the country’s president, Vaclav Klaus, who has indicated he will postpone as long as possible putting his signature under the treaty – the final step of ratification.

«I stated clearly that if the Irish say Yes, there is no question that we will accept to stay in a no man’s land with a Europe that does not have the institutions to cope with the crisis.»

«It will be necessary to draw the consequences – but those will be the subject of another meeting,» said the president.

Mr Sarkozy, who was not asked about the issue, volunteered the warning at the end of a press conference, using it as a parting shot before closing the session.

His words come as Brussels frets that even if the Irish say Yes to the treaty in a vote on 2 October, the EU will not directly be put out of its institutional uncertainty because of foot-dragging by President Klaus.

Although the Czech houses of parliament have ratified the treaty, Mr Klaus has indicated he could delay signature until the beginning of next year.

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