Czech Republic at beating heart of Europe

When the Czech Republic took over the rotating presidency of the European Union in January in the midst of an economic crisis, it may have expected a rough ride but probably not this rough. Having to organize emergency meetings for EU leaders with differing views on how to deal with the crisis was just one of the challenges. Then, last month Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek courted controversy for his outspoken criticism of the way that the USA had chosen to tackle the crisis. Days later, and for completely different reasons, his government lost a vote of no-confidence. Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama chose Prague as the location from which he delivered a speech that envisaged a world without nuclear weapons. The Czech ambassador in Athens, Hana Mottlova, assesses her country’s performance at the helm of the EU during this turbulent period.

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