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No radar, the Lisbon Treaty and the government are rocking

(B2) Mirek Topolanek, the Czech Prime Minister, finally withdrew the text on the ratification of the treaty on the American anti-missile shield and the installation of a radar, which was to be discussed these days in the Chamber of Deputies. It was not certain, in fact, of obtaining a majority in the Chamber and even risked seeing the text refused. A slap in the face for the government, all the more resounding as it is on the verge of falling, after the tabling of a motion of censure.

The majority by one thread. The voices of the social democratic (CSSD) and communist parties could, in fact, be joined by those of green dissidents (two deputies were fired from the green party, a member of the government coalition) and even the ODS (Topolanek's party ). Or the few votes missing from the opposition which has 97 votes to reach the majority threshold of 100 votes). According to the counts made by my Czech colleagues of Aktualne, the state of the votes was, in fact, the following:
• For the ratification of the radar: 96 sure votes (ODS – civic forum + Christian Democrats + Greens)
• Against the ratification of the radar: 97 votes (Communists, Social Democrats + 2 former Green MPs Olga Zubova and Věra Jakubkova
• Uncertain votes: Ludvík Hovorka (Christian Democrat, probably against), Ondrej Liska (Greens, against or abstention) Evžen Snítilý (idem), Milos Melcak and Petr Wolf (ODS rather for, but

The heart is no longer there. The Czech Prime Minister is not giving up, he told my Czech colleagues. But we feel that the heart is not in it. Especially since the doubt is mainly about the American position. “It was not us who started negotiating » he reminded Aktualne. And today “There are doubts about the timing and financing of the project. President Barack Obama's visit and the NATO summit in Strasbourg – Khel should send a clear signal (on this point). » In fact, the situation is more serious than the anti-missile shield treaty alone. It also concerns the Treaty of Lisbon and the viability of this government which still presides over the European Union until the end of June.

The Lisbon Treaty held hostage.
Could this decision mean the end of the process of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty? Topolanek recalled, as a supreme warning: Je
thinks it is possible (no ratification). But I would like to emphasize that this is not our entire responsibility. I don't want to tell anyone how to vote and on what issue. I've said it many times
» (a majority of ODS deputies refuse the Lisbon Treaty while the opposition wants its ratification; the situation being opposite for the treaty on the anti-missile shield). Nota bene (updated): the Chamber of Deputies voted on Thursday (March 19) for a regulation which is a condition set by the senators of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). It is a barrier to prevent the government from transferring national powers to the European Union, without the agreement of both houses of Parliament.

The government is under censorship. This is the fifth motion of censure tabled by the opposition. None has achieved a majority so far. But this time, the situation is very tangential. Because the same coalition that was formed on the anti-missile shield could be formed to bring down the government. Some MPs close to Klaus would not even mind giving the opposition a little boost, according to my information, just to bring down Topolanek (*). The vote takes place in a few days, on March 24. And Topolanek is on fire. It's the least we can say.

Topolanek nervous even at the European Council! When I asked him the question at the EU summit press conference last night (Thursday, March 19), the Czech Prime Minister was on the defensive, answering with a pirouette: You're French. With us democracy is discussed in Parliament not in the street.” And to add: “ How many governments, under
other presidencies, have been outvoted. There is therefore no problem of continuity for the presidency of the EU. Be reassured."

(*) Hatred seems to have settled as fiercely between the two men as between N.Sarkozy and J. Chirac. Topolanek, a few days ago, accused neither more nor less of the last election
presidential election (where however it was the leader of the ODS, Vaclav Klaus who was elected…) to have taken place in an atmosphere of manipulation. “There is evidence showing how the presidential election was manipulated a year ago, and the ways in which constitutional law was violated and in which Messrs. Randák and Dimun conducted and directed this affair. " did he declare. Threatening to set up a commission of inquiry. Atmosphere…


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).