“I have never experienced anything like this before.”

Not sure of the original source of this but I spotted it on indymedia.ie

Excerpts from the meeting between Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, and members of the Conference of the Presidents of the European Parliament, Friday 5 December 2008, Prague Castle.

Text below the fold.

UPDATE more links available on Irish Election, thanks to Pete.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP: I brought you a flag, which – as we heard – you have everywhere here at the Prague Castle. It is the flag of the European Union, so I will place it here in front of you.

It will be a tough Presidency. The Czech Republic will have to deal with the work directive and climate package. EU climate package represents less than what our fraction would wish for. It will be necessary to hold on to the minimum of that. I am certain that the climate change represents not only a risk, but also a danger for the future development of the planet. My view is based on scientific views and majority approval of the EP and I know you disagree with me. You can believe what you want, I don’t believe, I know that global warming is a reality.

Lisbon Treaty – I don’t care about your opinions on it. I want to know what you are going to do if the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the Senate approve it. Will you respect the will of the representatives of the people? You will have to sign it.

I want you to explain to me what is the level of your friendship with Mr Ganley from Ireland. How can you meet a person whose funding is unclear? You are not supposed to meet him in your function. It is a man whose finances come from problematic sources and he wants to use them to be funding his election campaign into the EP.

President Vaclav Klaus: I must say that nobody has talked to me in such a style and tone for the past 6 years. You are not on the barricades in Paris here. I thought that these manners ended for us 18 years ago but I see I was wrong. I would not dare to ask how the activities of the Greens are funded. If you are concerned about a rational discussion in this half an hour, which we have, please give the floor to someone else, Mr Chairman.

EU Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering: No, we have plenty of time. My colleague will continue, because anyone from the members of the EP can ask you whatever he likes. (to Cohn-Bendit:) Please continue.

President Vaclav Klaus: This is incredible. I have never experienced anything like this before.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit: Because you have not experienced me…

President Vaclav Klaus: This is incredible.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit: We have always had good talks with President Havel. And what will you tell me about your attitude towards the anti-discrimination law? I will gladly inform you about our funding.

Hans-Gert Pöttering: Brian Crowley, please.

Brian Crowley MEP: I am from Ireland and I am a member of a party in government. All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty. It was an insult, Mr. President, to me and to the Irish people what you said during your state visit to Ireland. It was an insult that you met Declan Ganley, a man with no elected mandate. This man has not proven the sources from which his campaign was funded. I just want to inform you what the Irish felt. I wish you that you get the programme of your Presidency through and you will get through what European citizens want to see.

President Vaclav Klaus: Thank you for this experience which I gained from this meeting. I did not think anything like this is possible and have not experienced anything like this for the past 19 years. I thought it was a matter of the past that we live in democracy, but it is post-democracy, really, which rules the EU.

You mentioned the European values. The most important value is freedom and democracy. The citizens of the EU member states are concerned about freedom and democracy, above all. But democracy and freedom are loosing ground in the EU today. It is necessary to strive for them and fight for them.

I would like to emphasize, above all, what most citizens of the Czech Republic feel, that for us the EU membership has no alternative. It was me who submitted the EU application in the year 1996 and who signed the Accession treaty in 2003. But the arrangements within the EU have many alternatives. To take one of them as sacrosanct, untouchable, about which it is not possible to doubt or criticize it, is against the very nature of Europe.

As for the Lisbon Treaty, I would like to mention that it is not ratified in Germany either. The Constitutional Treaty, which was basically the same as the Lisbon Treaty, was refused in referendums in other two countries. If Mr. Crowley speaks of an insult to the Irish people, then I must say that the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the result of the Irish referendum. In Ireland I met somebody who represents a majority in his country. You, Mr. Crowley, represent a view which is in minority in Ireland. That is a tangible result of the referendum.

Brian Crowley MEP: With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.

President Vaclav Klaus: I do not speculate about what the Irish think. I state the only measurable data which were proved by the referendum.

In our country the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified because our parliament has not decided on it yet. It is not the President’s fault. Let’s wait for the decision of both Chambers of the Parliament, that is the current phase of the ratification process in which the President plays no role whatsoever. I cannot sign the Treaty today, it is not on my table, it is up to the parliament to decide about it now. My role will come after the eventual approval of the Treaty in the Parliament. . .

Hans-Gert Pöttering: … In the conclusion – and I want to leave this room in good terms – I would like to say that it is more than unacceptable, if you compare us, compare us with the Soviet Union. We are all deeply rooted in our countries and our constituencies. We are concerned about freedom and reconciliation in Europe, we are good willing, not naive.

President Vaclav Klaus: I did not compare you with the Soviet Union, I did not mention the word “Soviet Union”. I only said that I have not experienced such an atmosphere, such style of debate in the past 19 years in the Czech Republic, really.

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    As P O’Neill pointed out on Irish Election

    The original Czech text is here.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ‘[b]Brian Crowley MEP:[/b] “With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.”

    “All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty.”‘

    Maybe Brian should get psychiatric for effects ‘the British domination’ has left upon him, and maybe he should start listening to what the Irish people really want, not the ideologically unsound movement his father and relatives died for.

  • William

    Mark….WHO THE HELL DOES CROWLEY THINK HE IS?

    “All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty.”(Brian Crowley)

    “If Mr. Crowley speaks of an insult to the Irish people, then I must say that the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the result of the Irish referendum. In Ireland I met somebody who represents a majority in his country. You, Mr. Crowley, represent a view which is in minority in Ireland. That is a tangible result of the referendum.” (Václav Klaus)

    “With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.”(Brian Crowley)

    Who the hell does Crowley think he is !!!!!

    As an another blogger writes and I repeat:

    “All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty.”(Brian Crowley)

  • Harry Flashman

    What is the source for these quotations? Are they genuine? If so I have to say that they are most extraordinary.

    For Brian Cowen to believe that he is the voice of the Irish people is absurd and he needs to explain what the hell he is doing misrepresenting the democratically mandated opinions of the people of Ireland at international conferences and as for that jumped up little Marxist Cohn-Bendit lecturing someone who endured Communist tyranny about democracy, well the absurdity in and of itself should suffice.

    However as I said I remain to be convinced about the veracity of this piece of dialogue. Sources please.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oooops that’s Crowley not Cowen I see, however my point stands.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    Thanks.

  • William

    Harry Flashman….have the storms in Adelaide effected you….it isn’t Biffo Cowan, it’s Brian Crowley…..another Fianna Fail Gombeen man from Cork….BIFFO [meaning Big Ignorant F*CKER From Offaly] is as his nickname suggests from Offaly [isn’t that a by-product of a cow?]

  • William

    Harry….I corrected you after you corrected yerself…good on ye boy !!

  • Brian Crowley needs to cop on to himself. Klaus is clearly a bit off the reservation but those EP punters make him look the sane voice of reason.

  • See also Bruno Waterfield

    Who links to the EU Referendum blog.

  • John Connelly

    THIS IS THE HISTORY OF THE MARXIST TOAD, COHN-BENDIT…Why not email him your views on his lecturing of Havac on ‘democracry’, rather than just limit them to Slugger?
    ________________________

    Daniel COHN-BENDIT
    Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
    Co-president

    Germany
    daniel.cohn-bendit@europarl.europa.eu
    Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
    Born on 4 April 1945, Montauban/Frankreich http://www.cohn-bendit.de

    Member
    Conference of Presidents
    Committee on Constitutional Affairs [See]

    Substitute
    Committee on Budgets [See]
    Subcommittee on Security and Defence [See]
    Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee [See]
    Delegation for relations with South Africa [See]
    Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly [See]
    Delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly

    Curriculum vitae
    Advanced school-leaving certificate, Odenwaldschule (1966). Studied sociology at the University of Nanterre. Spokesman and leader, Paris May Revolution (1968). Deported from France (1968). Childcare worker with the Kinderladen movement in Frankfurt; bookseller at the Karl-Marx bookshop (1969-1973). Editor-in-chief and publisher of Pflasterstrand magazine (1976). Honorary head of department, Office for Multicultural Affairs (Frankfurt/Main) (1989). Presenter of the Swiss television programme Literaturklub (since 1994).
    Various publications and films.
    Member of the European Parliament (since 1994). Delegation Chairman, EU – Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (1999-2002). Co-chairman of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (since 2002).
    Honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Tilburg, Netherlands (1997), Trombinoscope ‘Political Discovery’ award for special contributions in the field of politics (1998).

    Parliamentary activities
    Questions [See]
    Motions for resolutions [See]
    Speeches in plenary [See]
    Written declarations [See]

    Declaration of financial interests (47 Kb) :

    Parlement européen
    Bât. Altiero Spinelli
    08G201
    60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
    B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel
    Tel. : +32 (0)2 28 45498
    Fax : +32 (0)2 28 49498
    Parlement européen
    Bât. Louise Weiss
    T06002
    1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman
    CS 91024
    F-67070 Strasbourg Cedex
    Tel. : +33 (0)3 88 1 75498
    Fax : +33 (0)3 88 1 79498

    Postal address : Europäisches Parlament Rue Wiertz ASP 08G201 BE-1047 BRÜSSEL

  • George

    Harry,
    apparently the source of the quotes is Klaus himself who allegedly secretly taped the meeting. Naturally those who he taped are livid.

  • Wilde Rover

    Brian Crowley, MEP

    “With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.”

    Am I missing something here? Has Brian Crowley been in a coma for the last year? If so, has no one told him the Lisbon Treaty was defeated in a referendum?

    President Vaclav Klaus,

    “I did not think anything like this is possible and have not experienced anything like this for the past 19 years. I thought it was a matter of the past that we live in democracy, but it is post-democracy, really, which rules the EU.”

    “But the arrangements within the EU have many alternatives. To take one of them as sacrosanct, untouchable, about which it is not possible to doubt or criticize it, is against the very nature of Europe”

    He came across as quite reflective and statesman like, and with a keen sense for the idea of a pluralistic and free Europe.

  • Ri Na Deise

    You have callously disregarded the will of the Irish people one time too many(remember Nice, keep voting till ye get it right). If theres ere a backbone left in Irishmen, we should be calling for the heads of this government and immediate withdrawal from the EU and the euro currency. On the basis of the betrayal of the Irish nation, we would be perfectly justified in such action.

  • Rory Carr

    Who’d have thought it, a gombeen Corky losing his cool when faced with a blank Czech?

    Meanwhile Gun Moll Maria goes Tory and Danny the Red turns Green. The dreams of my youthful exuberance lie shattered on the floor of petty expediency.

    Good job the Gunners beat Chelsea last week or I would be a gibbering fool by now. (…and no, “What do mean, ‘would be’?”, wise cracks if you don’t mind.)

  • Dan’s Breen Revolver

    I like the Czech president.

    Funny how Cohn, who has no scientific background, “knows” for a fact mannkind is the driving force behind climate change when many scientists do not agree with that theory at all.

  • Dave

    Here is the scoop of the transcript of when Brian Cowen met Hans-Gert Pöttering the day after the referendum poll on the defeated Lisbon Treaty:

    [i]An Taoiseach Brian Cowering enters his office to discover Hans-Gert Pöttering sitting in his chair, feet up on the desk, nibbling on the Mr Cowen’s supply of chocolate éclairs[/i]

    Brian Cowering: Err, that’s my chair.

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: Pardon, my little plaything?

    Brian Cowering: You’re sitting in my chair. I’d quite like to sit there if you don’t mind.

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: But I do mind. You Irish have been stuffing your fat faces on fine French chocolate éclairs at Europe’s expense for years… and this is how you repay us?

    Brian Cowering: Ah yes, the treaty poll thingie. I’m terribly sorry about that but the people rejected it in a free and fair referendum – that was run by the Referendum, chaired by High Court judge, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, who was nominated to the position by the Chief Justice, John Murray – and the government are constitutionally bound to accept the result. That’s how democracy works.

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: Listen to me, fatty. I’ll say this very slowly so that you pig-ignorant Irish can follow it: don’t tell me how democracy works, I’m a Eurocrat. No one elected me as President of the European Parliament. Democracy in this new age is the EU political elite substituting its will for the will of the people. Do you think we’d have all of these cushy EU jobs for ourselves after our domestic political careers have expired if we allowed the people to decide our future? How long is your domestic political career going to last, fatty? A nice pensionable job in the EU would extend it, wouldn’t it? You must do the right thing.

    [i]Brian Cowering goes to sit down on waste bin to the side of his desk, only to have Daniel Cohn-Bendit kick it out from under him (to howls of laughter from Hans-Gert Pöttering)[/i]

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: We have had a good discussion here, and I feel that we have cemented the relationship between our two countries. I came in peace, and I will leave your democracy in pieces, pug-face.

    Brian Cowering: But I didn’t think that the EU is supposed to be a country. The people think that it is simply an alliance of member states, not a merger of them. And please stop the personal attacks. I cried when Ian Paisley said I had big lips. I’m a victim of cholesterol addiction.

    Daniel Cohn-Bendit (laughing): No, of course it isn’t a country – emergent or otherwise. That’s why we’re not engineering a common nationalism of European and it’s why we don’t have our own flag, anthem, etc, and it’s why we’re not transferring the sovereign power of member states to it, leaving those states with the powers of regional authorities.

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: Is it right that the will of 500 million people should be denied by the will of a few million?

    Brian Cowering: Err, but isn’t Ireland supposed to be sovereign democracy? And what happened to the Unanimity Rule? You have underperformed my low expectations of you

    Hans-Gert Pöttering: Let’s not resort to personal attacks, fatty, or I’ll have to show everyone that photo I found of you strutting your stuff on the dance floor of the Pink Palace Club in a pair of neon-piped hot pants with a glow-in-the-dark zipper and a spring-loaded arse-hatch for quick dildo access, all finished in glistening sequined silver to match your disco ball earrings, eh?

    Brian Cowering: So when do you want me to hold the second referendum?

  • Dave

    Ireland’s European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy must be feeling isolated in the EU and from the Irish government after he showed integrity in rejecting the attempt by the EU to pervert the democratic process and also rejected the despicable smear tactics used against Declan Ganley by the crazed and morally-depraved Europhiles in the above transcript.

    “LIBERTAS chief Declan Ganley outmanoeuvred all the political parties on the Lisbon Treaty campaign and won the argument, European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has claimed.

    In a veiled criticism of the tactics and performance of Fianna Fail and other pro-treaty parties, Mr McCreevy said the Libertas founder had been listened to more than anybody else and was “singularly successful” in getting people to vote ‘No’.

    “We live in a democracy. Mr Ganley decided that he was going to front a campaign to get the Irish people to vote ‘No’. He was singularly successful in that against the might of all the political parties in Ireland,” Mr McCreevy said in an interview with ‘Hot Press’ magazine to be published today.

    “Against the might of practically all the established media and all of the representative politicians in Leinster House, bar a few. He won the argument because the Irish people listened to him more than anybody else.”

    The former finance minister also argued that if the only answer to the Lisbon Treaty was ‘Yes’, then there was “no point in putting the question to any of the other 26 countries.

    Amid suggestions that Ireland could be “isolated” following rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in June, Mr McCreevy said there was no provision in the existing treaties to isolate any country.

    “There is no provision to throw out anybody, unless unanimously all the existing members of the club agreed to throw you out. And I doubt now, or in the future, any Irish Government is going to unanimously agree to throw themselves out,” he said.

    The referendum turnout also suggested that a “considerable segment” of the 53pc who voted were those who failed to vote in last year’s general election, the European Commissioner said.

    “So, therefore, people did take the issue very seriously. So, that has to be respected,” he said.

    Despite criticism of his claim that people would be “insane” to read the treaty document, Mr McCreevy said he had no regrets about his comments.”

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ganley-won-lisbon-debate-says-mccreevy-1563001.html

  • Mack

    Dave – Is it fair to say “Ganley won the Lisbon Treaty argument”?

    I’m no fan of the looney left, but they also argued against the treaty. If memory serves me right the most convincing no victories were in working class constituencies like Dublin South West (65% no), whereas districts traditionally more receptive to the right such as (Dublin South, Dublin South East, & Dún Laoghaire) voted yes?

    So how come Libertas get the credit? To my eyes the socialists and Shinners won it….

  • Murph

    John Connelly – you never mentioned his paedo tendencies. I guess they would not be on a standard CV form.
    Check the wikipedia entry, for Cohn-Bend It http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Cohn-Bendit

    Then search for the word ‘bazar’. How bizarre ? Clearly Cohn-Bendit and his drive to implement a sexual revolution are something that are not needed.

    Point of information. Brian Crowley was lying through his teeth. Again check the site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flor_Crowley

    Brian Crowley’s father was born in 1937. He definitely was not fighting “British dominition”, because that ended in 1921. British involvement in the North was at the will of the majority living there, and therefore was not ‘domination’. I thought we had gone beyond all that rubbish. Brian Crowley clearly has not. Exactly what was he implying by his boasting. Where there any British people there ? Clearly Crowley did not think so ? In fact, it seems as if Crowley was confident that there were no Irish people there either, to ask him questions about his comments.

    Brian Crowley was lying through his teeth. But I guess in the Irish Times, the so-called ‘newspaper of record’ this will not be brought to the attention of the people. In case people make up their own minds up. The Irish Times are not telling the whole truth either.

  • Murph

    I beleived Global Warming until a month ago. And apart from the fact that it is freezing for the last three weeks in Ireland, I seen on the internet that it was SNOWING IN NEW ORLEANS, USA. There are pictures on US News Media sites of the trams of New Orleans running along through the snow. It is cold enough that the snow is on the ground. Therefore we must conclude that it was much colder for the last few days.

    If the theory of Global Warming is correct, this would imply that without global warming, it would be snowing in Florida. But hey, never mind that unscientific evidence – let all these big parties and expensive get togethers for environmentalists continue. Great for the catering industry whenever they come around. Massive infusion of money, as the espenses are totted up.