From the Times:
THE leader of the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, has warned that a “Europe of states” is in danger of turning into a “state of Europe”, legislating on almost every aspect of people’s lives but lacking in democracy and transparency.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, President Vaclav Klaus drew parallels between Brussels and the failed communist dictatorships of eastern Europe.
“My criticism is based on the sensitivity towards attempts to restrain freedom and democracy, and it does relate to the fact that for most of my life I lived in a political, social and economic system which was not free and was not democratic,” he said.
Klaus also predicted that Gordon Brown’s attempts to produce a European solution to the global economic crisis in time for next month’s G20 summit in London could make the problems worse.
Klaus, 67, an economist by training and a successful finance minister after the fall of communism, said he believed Brown’s plans for more regulatory supervision of the financial system would resolve nothing. Instead, Europe should let business and markets go free.
“The crisis cannot be solved by restraining human initiative and putting further burdens on businesses,” he said. “I propose the exact opposite: deregulation, liberalisation, removing barriers and unnecessary obstructive legislation at the European level.”
Oh shit footnote: I was going to run Vaclav Klaus' photo with this post. Fortunately, at the last second, I realized that the photo situated in the logical place on the Times page for Klaus' image to be was that Austrian who just got convicted of rape, incest, and murder. Never import pictures when you're really tired.