Czech eurosceptic leader to meet Zapatero

27th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004, MADRID - Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Monday began a two-day visit to Spain and headed for talks with King Juan Carlos prior to meeting Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday.

27 September 2004

MADRID - Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Monday began a two-day visit to Spain and headed for talks with King Juan Carlos prior to meeting Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday.

The king and Queen Sofia welcomed Klaus to the Pardo Palace for a lunch after which the Czech leader, regarded as a eurosceptic, attended a conference on "European problems and their non-solutions".

After talks with Zapatero on Tuesday morning, Klaus will also meet with leading Spanish business figures before flying home.

In an interview in Monday's edition of the Spanish daily El Pais, Klaus insisted that despite EU efforts to unite the continent "a European identity does not exist."

Klaus, whose country joined the European Union in May, dubbed Europe merely a "geographical abstraction."

He added: "European countries should be good partners but their differences should not be sacrificed on the altar of a united Europe, something which has never existed and which, I hope, will never exist."

On Iraq, Klaus said "the Iraqi crisis has not divided Europe. It has shown its lack of union," while judging that the conflict there has "shown the solidity of the transatlantic relations."

The Czech government recently said it was committed to keeping its country's small troop contingent in Iraq where they are serving as part of the US-led occupation force.
  
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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