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Klaus sets new condition for signing Lisbon treaty: Sweden

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(STOCKHOLM) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the last EU leader holding out on signing the Lisbon treaty, has set a new condition for ratifying the text, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Thursday.

Klaus "wishes to add a footnote with two sentences. As far as I understand it, he's linking this to the (EU's) Charter of Fundamental Rights and then he wants the European Council to take a decision on this footnote," Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU presidency, told reporters.

Reinfeldt said he had spoken to Klaus by telephone on Thursday.

"I told him that this was the wrong message at the wrong time, that it is very late in the process," the Swedish leader said.

The Lisbon treaty has to be approved by all 27 EU member states in order to come into force, possibly next year, and time is running out, with the commission's mandate due to expire at the end of the month.

Poland's eurosceptic President Lech Kaczynski will sign the treaty on Sunday, his national security council chief said Thursday.

That leaves Klaus -- who refuses to fly the EU flag outside his official residence -- under pressure as the treaty's last legal obstacle.

Reinfeldt had tried repeatedly to make contact with Klaus since Irish voters approved the Lisbon treaty in a second referendum on October 2.

A group of 17 Czech senators have filed a complaint against the treaty with the country's Constitutional Court, which is expected to announce a date for its ruling within three weeks.

During the phone call with Reinfeldt, Klaus stressed that he would respect the court's decision, the Swedish leader said.

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