Tag: vaclav klaus

President Klaus: The IMF Is a ‘Barbaric Relic’

President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic has just given an important speech in Prague on Central and Eastern Europe and on the IMF. Among other lessons of the global financial crisis he points to the growing menace of the IMF:

I consider the IMF a barbaric relic from the Keynesian and fixed-exchange rate era. I know it is a harsh verdict but Keynes himself repeatedly used similar strong statements about his colleagues which justifies my using such a terminology.  

I am convinced the IMF should be dismantled or radically restructured as soon as possible. To do the opposite, to increase its role as it happened as a result of the last year’s G20 decision in the middle of the panic connected with the then looming crisis or to speculate about creating similar institutions on individual continents (especially in Europe) is a wrong way to go. It is yet another manifestation of a mistaken and dangerous global governance mindset which – to my great regret – has been getting more and more support in the intellectual and political circles these days. To whom and how at all can the IMF be held responsible for its activities? And if its proposals or measures turn out to be mistaken (and this can happen very easily), who will face the consequences? Certainly not the IMF. (emphasis in original)

Czech Support for Klaus at 65%

According to press reports, the most recent opinion poll shows that 65% of Czechs support President Václav Klaus’ refusal to sign the Lisbon Treaty that would take more power from national parliaments and give it to the unelected bureaucracy in Brussels.

Klaus, who has been at the pinnacle of Czech politics for the last 20 years (as minister of finance, prime minister, speaker of the house and now as president), has an unmatched understanding of the Czech people. Clearly, once again, he was able to discern the public mood better than others. That includes his successor as the leader of the center-right Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Mirek Topolanek, who once opposed the Lisbon Treaty but now supports it. It seems that the ODS is in a state of revolt against him and may unseat him at the ODS Party Congress in November.

Klaus will be much encouraged by the above poll. As a consequence, it is less likely that he will give way under pressure and sign the Lisbon Treaty anytime soon. If he can hold out until the likely British referendum on the Lisbon Treaty midway through 2010, he will likely be remembered as the man who put an end to the most ambitious attempt to create a centralized European super-state in modern history.