P. O’Neill at the indispensable Fistful of Euros reports on Czech Prime Minister Mírek Topolánek’s speech to the European Parliament today. Topolánek had disturbingly harsh words for the Obama administration’s response to the global economic crisis, saying that Obama’s stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market” and calling the administration’s economic policies “the way to hell.”
The Czech Republic currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, but the country’s domestic political situation is shaky. Topolánek’s government lost a vote of confidence in parliament just yesterday. Topolánek will stay on for the time being as head of a caretaker government and may yet be tapped to form a new government by President Václav Klaus. However, Klaus has long been a notorious Euroskeptic, and the rift that has grown between the two men due to Topolánek’s support for the EU’s Lisbon Treaty could easily lead to a different choice. As Obama prepares to attend the G20 summit in London and meet European leaders in Prague in April, it is an understatement to say that the Czech EU presidency is in disarray.