Faced with the worst financial crisis in a century, Mr Klaus lambasted the bail-out of European banks as irresponsible protectionism. Faced with growing evidence that scientists have understated climate change.
Mr Klaus told a conference of climate change deniers at the weekend that Europe was being too alarmist. If this is leadership, the EU's rotating chair cannot swivel fast enough. Better still, let us have a permanent EU president. Mr Klaus could not be making a more persuasive case for one.
The EU can ill afford the luxury of amateur voices, let alone of populist, Eurosceptic neoliberals like Mr Klaus. It is going to be hard enough to achieve a consensus over climate change when leaders gather at Copenhagen this winter. But it will be essential that the EU, which has been at the progressive end of the search for a replacement for Kyoto, speaks clearly and with one voice. Why should it tolerate a representative, however symbolic and temporary, whose prejudices are anathema to its key policies?
And thus they speak of tolerance, pluralism. Hypocrites and ganngsters the lot of them