published: 18.09.2012, 19:02 | updated: 18.09.2012 19:11:52
Rome - The Czech Republic is in the same boat with Italy and other EU countries and as a small state it cannot achieve anything without the revival of the whole European economy, but it has aversion to the banking union, President Vaclav Klaus said on a visit to Italy today.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said such steps towards a greater EU integration were necessary for Italy.
"It is true that the Czech Republic is in the same boat with Italy and other European countries. We are naturally conscious of this and it is vital that the whole economy, of the whole Europe, should move forward," Klaus said.
"Such a small country as the Czech Republic cannot fully achieve anything without it," Klaus said.
Klaus is known for his critical attitude to the current form of the EU and the project of the euro.
He is of the view that the current problems of the euro zone countries are posing an opportunity for halting the EU's further integration and for changing its functioning.
Klaus stressed the Czech Republic's dependence on the situation in other EU countries.
On the other hand, he said it was an "obvious advantage" for the Czech Republic to stay outside the euro zone.
Klaus called for major changes in the EU.
"I do not believe that there are short-term instruments to accelerate economic growth. It can only appear in Europe after a significant, deep change in the whole economic and social system," Klaus said.
"We are not members of the euro zone, we did not want to take part in the fiscal pact and there is a big aversion in the Czech Republic, which is not a member of the euro zone, to the idea of entering the banking union," Klaus said, adding that the Czech Republic would only conduct serious talks on its final position on the project.
Napolitano said for Italy, a euro zone member, it was necessary to proceed to a deeper integration.
Klaus also met Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti today.
Monti has been heading a caretaker cabinet since November 2011 and his task is to lead Italy out of economic troubles.
Klaus said he believes Monti has been fulfilling his role very well. He added that Monti´s role is very different from that of former Czech caretaker cabinet head Jan Fischer (2009-10).
He said the task of Fischer was not to make mistakes, in other words to be relatively inactive. Monti, on the other hand, has the opposite task of trying to take unpopular steps that politicians linked to parties were unable to do, Klaus pointed out.
Klaus said he and Monti clearly differed in their views of the desirable development of the EU.
"He really believes that the more of Europe, the better, that more of what is European will help Europe. As you know well, I do not really share this opinion," Klaus told journalists.
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