Leaving Vaclav Klaus on his ownio:
FOR years he has been one of the European Union's most vocal critics – now for like-minded Eurosceptics across the Continent, Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, has become their last chance to block the Lisbon Treaty.
Describing it as a "fatal restriction on national sovereignty that would lead to the creation of a European superstate", Mr Klaus has said he is in no hurry to ratify the treaty, despite it receiving the support of both houses of the Czech parliament.
This has infuriated the government, which has backed the treaty. Jan Fischer, the prime minister, yesterday told the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, that he remained fully and deeply convinced there is no reason for anxiety in Europe.
But Mr Fischer added that, while he was confident that Mr Klaus would sign up to the treaty eventually, he could offer no real assurances to European leaders.
Unlike Klaus, who is standing alone not only against the Eurocrats, but also his own government, David Cameron would have the backing of the majority of his party, the media and I’m sure, the electorate if he were to give a full unconditional pledge for a referendum on the Treaty in the UK next year. Yet still he dithers...