The Czech Republic's leader has long been one of the most strident critics of the European Union, blasting the bloc with withering attacks at every opportunity. Now he has inherited the ideal pulpit to air his views: The EU presidency itself.
In a startling diatribe before EU legislators Thursday, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, whose country assumed the rotating EU helm in January from France, branded the club an undemocratic and elitist project comparable to Soviet-era dictatorships that forbade free thought.
Despite the uproar, this is hardly uncharacteristic of a deeply Euroskeptic leader who has refused to fly the EU flag over his official seat in Prague during the Czech presidency, saying the country is not an EU province.
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