Blowing It

By Stransky, Martin Jan | The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Blowing It


Stransky, Martin Jan, The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs


In his speech announcing a new US-led initiative in arms reduction, Barack Obama noted how unlikely it would have been at the time of his birth to imagine that in the near future, an Afro-American president would be speaking in the free city of Prague. Even less likely would have been envisioning the Czech Republic as presiding over a new union of European states. Today, both scenarios have been realized--the first one successful, the second a total failure.

Unfortunately, the Czechs have done their best to live up to their reputation as the political clown princes of Europe. Though Czech premier Topolanek had some success in his first few months as EU leader, he was soon eclipsed by the row over the Czech Republic's official work of art contribution to the EU, the "Entropa," a huge plastic mural with scenes caricaturing EU nations--Bulgaria as a Turkish pisoir, Germany with highways in the shape of a swastika, Italy with soccer players masturbating with the football, and so forth.

If this wasn't enough to endear the country to the EU, the never-ending pubertal squabbling of the country's politicians led to a vote of no-confidence and the downfall of the government in the middle of the EU presidency. Predictably, the only person to welcome the news was Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus, who refuses to fly the EU flag above Prague Castle, claiming the EU is an organization just as dangerous as the former Communist empire. …

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