Prague – The final TV debate of a bitter contest for the Czech presidency, will have sent tremors tonight into Brussels and Strasbourg.
Tough-talking veteran, President Miloš Zeman, pledged to hold a referendum on EU membership, if re-elected.
Contender Jiří Drahoš, who increasingly sounds like a wetter version of Vince Cable, told Czech National TV Channel 1, that he would not allow people to have a referendum because (inexplicably): “We are not Sweden… and we don’t want a Brexit situation.”
President Zeman hit back: “You are insulting British people who voted freely to leave.”
Last week, opinion polls showed Mr Zeman fractionally ahead. And a series of unexpected absences and poor debate performances by Mr Drahoš, have further damaged his chances of toppling President Zeman.
But Zeman himself has struggled visibly with health issues of late. Voters are concerned about his physical resilience during what would be a second five-year term.
Security expert Richard Bingley, who specialises in Central and East Europe defence issues, said:
“If Zeman wins, Czechxit is seriously on the table. Czech people, particularly those outside of Prague, are increasingly hostile to the interference and intimidation from the EU superstate. Tyranny at the hands of German and Soviet forces remains a stark, and almost present fear.”
“The EU is not just unpopular immigration concerns, but also because of damaging regulation, and a strong sense of national identity.”
The country of 10+million sensibly stayed outside the Euro, thanks to President Zeman’s refusal to fund Greece’s national debts.
Brussels will be on high-alert and praying for a Zeman defeat.
The election takes place Friday (26th) and Saturday. The result should be known Saturday afternoon.