Czech President: A Speck of Light

Brussels Journal
by Elaib Harvey
16.08.2008

The rise of the political class, a form of technocratic managemental breed of suited emissaries of the god risk avoidance and nudging paternalism wallers so well defined by Peter Oborne in his magisterial Triumph of the Political Class has left western liberal post-democracies with virtually nobody to whom one can support, or at the very least trust.

All decisions are compromisable, all positions changeable. Nothing is quite what it seems.

But there is a speck of light. Like a throwback to the nineteenth century, a politician of conviction and principle. Enter Vaclav Klaus. Second term President of the Czech Republic and a beacon of enlightenment values in an increasingly voodoo world.

President Vaclav Klaus Monday vetoed an amended law according to which, in harmony with the EU regulation REACH, companies in the Czech Republic would have to register the chemicals they use.

Klaus had already criticised the directive. In January last year, for instance, he said it was the most terrible thing that had emerged in the EU. The fate of the legislation will thus be decided by the Chamber of Deputies which can outvote the President’s veto.

His reasoning is instructive. As things stand EU legislation, was passed at the European level is hardly if ever discussed effectively in national Parliaments. This means that those politicians closest to the public are reduced to little more than franking machines. Not something that Klaus wishes to see,

“The link with the protection of people’s health and safety is at least very doubtful,” Klaus said in a letter to Miloslav Vlcek, chairman of the lower house, explaining his decision.

In its current form, the law would place the entire chemical industry including the smallest producers under direct control of European bureaucrats, according to Klaus.

By using the veto, Klaus said he sought to boost missing political discussion during the law’s passage in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

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