June 6th, 2011 at 03:36pm
Czech President Vaclav Klaus will be in the country next month, but Julia Gillard doesn’t want to meet with him.
PARLIAMENTARIANS from Julia Gillard down appear ready to give the cold shoulder to Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an outspoken climate change sceptic, when he visits Australia next month.
Mr Klaus, a critic of the theory of human-caused global warming, will attend a series of seminars organised by the Institute of Public Affairs think tank.
Tour organisers have contacted a range of political leaders offering to arrange meetings with Mr Klaus while he is in Australia. A spokesman for Ms Gillard said yesterday: “The Prime Minister’s diary has not been finalised.”
But the organisers said her office had already declined an invitation to meet Mr Klaus, as had Victoria’s Liberal Premier Ted Baillieu and his Western Australian counterpart Colin Barnett.
They are yet to hear from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and NSW’s Barry O’Farrell.
“It’s extraordinary that Australia’s political leaders are willing to risk our relationship with one of Europe’s most dynamic and open economies simply because their representative is a climate sceptic,” IPA executive director John Roskam said.
(h/t Christian Kerr, The Australian)
Julia is the Prime Minister, and as such has a duty to at least say hello to a visiting leader of another country, unless she really is busy with an important task, in which case I’d accept that the Deputy Prime Minister could meet the visiting leader in her place…although if I was a foreign visitor to this land, I’d much rather meet Julia than Wayne. The Foreign Minister doesn’t cut it as far as I’m concerned. It might be appropriate for the Foreign Minister to be present at a meeting, but not for them to be the person actually meeting the foreign dignitary.
The Premiers I’m not so fussed about. They aren’t the leader of the country, so if they can make it, that’s nice, but I wouldn’t hold them to it.
Personally, I’m waiting for the Institute of Public Affairs to announce a date for Mr. Klaus to visit Canberra. Hopefully I will be able to get to that event. Sydney and Perth dates have already been announced.