Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president, sounds like a man who intends to enjoy the next two months. In an interview last week with the Czech newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes, he merrily poured scorn on US and European Union measures to fight the world financial crisis and recession by suggesting that they drew on the spirit of 20th-century eastern European and Soviet communism.
Last month, he grabbed the headlines by engineering the downfall of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek’s government right in the middle of the Czech Republic’s six-month EU presidency. In February, he prompted a walk-out by angry members of the European Parliament when he told them in a speech that their assembly did not encourage freedom of thought. As for his opinions on climate change (misplaced alarmism), they are quite simply unrepeatable in polite European society.