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Czechs call for end to Lisbon treaty

June 14, 2008 at 9:59 AM

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, June 14 (UPI) -- Czech leaders called for an end to the ratification process of the European Commission's Lisbon treaty in the wake of its rejection in an Irish referendum.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus called the defeat of the proposed treaty by Irish voters this week a "victory of freedom and reason" by common people over "artificial elitist projects and European bureaucracy," The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Klaus' comments, written on his Web site, were echoed by Czech Senate Chairman Premysl Sobotka, who said the Irish rejection meant that the EC should halt the treaty's ratification process, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, other European governments pressed ahead with calls for the treaty to be ratified elsewhere. The French and German governments are expected to try to minimize the importance of the Irish "no" vote and say privately that if more nations approve the treaty, a second Irish referendum might be held, The Independent reported.

Eighteen EU member nations have already approved the accord, which would replace an proposed constitution voted down in 2005, but all 27 member EU nations must approve it to take effect.

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