Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Second Crisis of the Czech's EU Presidency Hits Closer to Home

Prague - The Czech Republic assumed the Presidency of the European Union for six months starting on January 1, 2009, amidst a flare up in the Middle East. Unfortunately the message which the Czechs intended to carry with their mission to try and settle the crisis in the Gaza Strip was poorly communicated, leaving the world to think mistakenly that the Czechs (and by proxy the EU) considered Israel's aggression to be "defensive". The poorly worded statement was retracted the next day and amended to call for an immediate cease-fire.

The second crisis of the Czechs' EU Presidency arrived on January 2, when Russia cut off the flow of natural gas to the Ukraine after accusing it of stealing gas from the pipeline, which flows across the Ukraine and continues into Europe, supplying eighteen countries including the Czech Republic. So this second, as of yet unresolved, crisis has hit much closer to home. In fact, if the natural gas supply is not resumed within a few short weeks the Czech Republic's emergency reserves will be depleted, shutting down factories everywhere and even threatening citizens with lack of heat in their homes, and the Czech winter is pretty harsh.

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