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30 March 2017 02:40 (South Africa)

Czech Republic: a tentative deal on EU Lisbon Treaty after all

Czech President Vaclav Klaus  on Friday welcomed a compromise that would assuage his concerns about the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty. The compromise would give the Czech Republic a special exemption from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, a document which lays down the basic rights of all European Union citizens. Klaus was concerned this charter could be used by former Sudeten Germans as a legal basis for property claims related to the three-million Germans who were expelled from what was then Czechoslovakia after World War II. Czech signing of this treaty is the last roadblock to the treaty's coming into force.  The treaty sets up a strengthened central executive, including the new office of president and a stronger foreign minister-like position for the entire EU, among other new measures. Once Ireland's referendum passed the treaty, the Polish president agreed to sign it, bringing agreement  by all other EU members, except the Czechs.

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