There may still be hope for the European Union.
Leadership: Far from an effete welfare statist, the EU's next president is a bold free-market advocate who suffers neither fools nor the usual Euro-nonsense. In short, just what the doctored ordered for a sclerotic continent.Vaclav Klaus is just what Europe needs if there is any hope of the EU pulling itself out of its drift towards socialism. Klaus is right on track on another important front too.
...Klaus, a student of the great F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, is exactly the sort of leader that Europe has to have. The liberty-minded defender of free markets has the opportunity to rock the continent out of its self-inflicted economic malaise.
Unlike his critics, Klaus has some experience in reviving a mundane economy. After helping the former Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 while serving as prime minister, he took the Republic from the depths of a former Soviet economy to where, according to the CIA, it is now considered "one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe."
The Czech Republic's healthy per capita GDP of $24,500 far outpaces that of Ukraine, which has moved in almost the exact opposite direction.
Under Klaus' guidance, the Czech Republic became the first post-communist nation to be given an investment-grade credit rating by international credit institutions. Unemployment has been kept low and productivity is running high. This, from a state-owned economy in which the private sector produced a mere 3% of the national income in 1989.
More recently, Klaus has turned his attention to global warming, believing the environmental movement has become an assault on freedom, and to regulation, too much of which, he says, caused today's financial crisis.Bravo Mr Klaus.