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The President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, signed the Lisbon Treaty at 3 p.m. Central European Time today, the last leader of the European Union’s 27 members states to do so. This removes the last barrier to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the document that is said to be effectively identical to the European Constitution that was defeated by public votes in France and the Netherlands in 2005.

Klaus, the eurosceptic leader of the former Soviet bloc country, has warned repeatedly against Lisbon’s encroachments on national sovereignty and democracy, calling the project of a “united Europe” a return to a leftist tyranny.

Since the start of the battle over Lisbon, Klaus has warned that ratification of the Treaty would signal the end of his and all European countries as independent sovereign states.

After the Yes vote in last month’s Irish referendum, Klaus’ opposition to Lisbon was the last barrier to the full implementation of the agreement that pro-life advocates have warned will likely result in the loss of the right of countries to pass laws protecting the unborn and elderly from abortion and euthanasia.

Pro-life leaders in Ireland warned that under the Treaty the laws of member states will be interpreted not through that state’s courts, but by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that is under no legal obligation to consider any other law besides EU law.

Today the anti-Christian, secularist leanings of the EU’s institutions were illustrated when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes must be removed from Italian state schools.

In response to a complaint from an Italian woman in Padua, the Strasburg court ruled, “The presence of the crucifix … could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion.”

The court ruled that the Italian state is to “refrain from imposing beliefs in premises where individuals were dependent on it.”

Campaigners have warned that this type of ruling under Lisbon’s terms would become binding on all member states, ushering in the effective repression in all of Europe of public expressions of Christianity or any other belief that opposes the prevailing official European secularism.

In a 2005 speech, Klaus wondered if the former communist countries were not risking falling into “another blind alley of regulated society, of unproductive welfare state, of brave new world of European social democratism and of empty and artificial Europeanism.”

Klaus’s capitulation was anticipated at last week’s EU summit, when French President Nicholas Sarkozy said, “The Lisbon Treaty will enter into force doubtless as early as December 1.”

Read related coverage:

Lisbon Will Force Abortion into Ireland through EU Charter of Human Rights: Irish Pro-Life Lobby

[3November09, Hilary White, Prague,]