In 2003 he was elected Czech president, succeeding the retiring Václav Havel, with whom Klaus was often at odds when he was prime minister. Klaus was reelected in 2008. A staunch Euroskeptic, Klaus refused to sign the European Union's Lisbon Treaty as required to formalize Czech ratification (the last ratification needed). He finally did so (Nov., 2009) after the Czech Republic was given an exemption from the EU rights charter that he demanded so that Germans expelled after World War II could not reclaim their property. His decision, at the end of his last term, to amnesty dozens of business and civic leaders accused of corruption angered many Czech citizens. He was succeeded (2013) as president by Miloš Zeman.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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