The head of the European Union, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, with whom Barack Obama will meet next week, did not hold back today in condemning the president’s policies. From the AP story:
Obama insisted Tuesday that his massive budget proposal will put the ailing U.S. economy back on its feet. “This budget is inseparable from this recovery,” he said, “because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity.” But Topolanek took aim at Washington’s deficit spending.
“All of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the road to hell,” Topolanek said. “We need to read the history books and the lessons of history and the biggest success of the (EU) is the refusal to go this way.”
“Americans will need liquidity to finance all their measures and they will balance this with the sale of their bonds but this will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market,” Topolanek said.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs in his press briefing, which just ended, minimized the comments by saying that Topolanek has “domestic political problems.” (He was just on the losing side of a vote of no-confidence.) This speaks to one of the unknowns about Obama’s coming trip to Europe: How will foreign leaders try to posture during their visits with the U.S. President? For weeks, China has been voicing complaints about American over-borrowing. Russia has shown a predeliction in the past to toss public challenges at Obama. It all could be rather exciting.