Strong arguments should counter Czech President’s views
I disagree profoundly with the position of the President of the Czech Republic in relation to the European Union but an issue arises in respect of the maturity of the debate we have.
If the President of the Czech Republic states his position in Ireland, surely the way to counter that is through the strength of the arguments against what he is saying rather than suggesting he does not have the right to speak. It has been suggested that it is outrageous that a foreign leader should come to Ireland and make such points. It is not deemed outrageous, however, if foreign leaders who hold the opposite view come here and make their case.
I disagree with the position taken by the President but we have more strength in us to deal with these arguments than to simply suggest that every time somebody such as Mr. Klaus opens his mouth, it constitutes interference in our process. The lesson of the Lisbon treaty debate, be it in the media or the political fora, is that those in favour of the treaty missed the opportunity to demonstrate a much more robust and self-confident approach and instead often seemed to want to exclude views with which they disagreed.