Wednesday, 15 October 2008

No EU flag during Czech presidency, says Klaus

Prague Castle, the residence of Czech presidents,will not fly a European Union flag during the Czech Republic's EU presidency in the first half of next year, Presidential Office spokesman Radim Ochvat told CTK Monday.

He said the Presidential Office had no plan to hoist the EU flag.The EU flag is permanently hoisted over the Government Office, Czech Vice-Prime minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said.

Klaus is known as a critic of EU policy and he is often called Euro-sceptic for his views.He refused to fly the EU flag in 2004 when the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union.Klaus as said that he saw no reason for this step because "the Czech Republic is not an EU province."

The Czech flag which is hoisted over Prague Castle is dominant and it was improper for any flag to be placed over the Czech national flag, Klaus said.Ochvat said Monday there was no NATO or UN flag over Prague Castle either although the country is a member of these organisations.

Well done Klaus this can only annoy the commission further and adds to the announcement from Austrian leader Alfred Gusenbauer who last week said he would call a referendum in Austria if Lisbon is tweaked for a second Irish vote.