To Hit EU Between Eyes

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Journalist Goldirova sent, from Brussels, a report on a letter written by the Slovak prime minister, in which he warned the European Commission that, unless it soon announced its position on the completion of Mochovce [nuclear power station], the Slovak Government would have to "consider all options, including a proposal to postpone the decommissioning of the second block of the V1 reactor [in Jaslovske Bohunice nuclear power station] until 2010." It follows from the report that Prime Minister Fico now behaves in the same way towards the EU as he behaves in domestic politics.

In early June, journalist Dobsinsky asked him whether it was diplomatic of him to be asking something of the EU and attacking it at the same time. The prime minister's reply was: "I like to hit between the eyes. That is, when it comes to that." It looks like that it has now come to that.

In early June, Robert Fico was pleased that, thanks to his pressure on the EU, "we have good news" as for the completion of Mochovce. Therefore, he claimed with self- confidence that "it was probably not such clumsy diplomacy," when it helped him achieve what he sought. Then Dobsinsky asked him what he would do if the good news about Mochovce were not to be confirmed. The prime minister's reply was: "In that case, we would probably be a country that would begin to make trouble." Fico's letter to Brussels attests that the good news about Mochovce were probably not confirmed and that the prime minister really wants to, as he announced, make "big trouble over Jaslovske Bohunice."

The point is that the trouble that this kind of policy of "power" could make for the EU is much smaller than the kind of trouble that the EU could make for Slovakia. This country's commitment to decommission two blocks in Bohunice is written in the EU accession treaty. Sanctions for not observing it can be applied and enforced without any problems. Slovakia would have a very hard time dealing with the consequences.

We know from domestic politics that the prime minister likes to hit his rivals between the eyes. His attempt also to hit the EU between the eyes attests to a loss of judgment that is damaging not only to him, but now also to this country.

Originally published by Sme website, Bratislava, in Slovak 1 Jul 08.(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring European.

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