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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy criticised Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Thursday for failing to sign the European Union's Lisbon Treaty and said there would be repercussions unless he fell into line quickly.
In an interview with Le Figaro newspaper, Sarkozy also said the fact that Britain had not adopted the euro single currency would make it difficult for former Prime Minister Tony Blair to become president of the 27-nation bloc.
The Czech Republic is the only EU country that has not yet ratified the treaty, which aims to rationalise Europe's institutions and speed up decision-making.
Although the Czech parliament has approved it, Klaus has refused to approve the charter. He is demanding guarantees the document would not pave the way for ethnic Germans expelled from his country after World War Two to reclaim their property.
"This refusal is even more unacceptable given that the Czech parliament has voted in favour of the treaty and the Czech government backs its ratification," Sarkozy said.
"But the Czech president cannot have it both ways. Decision time has come for him and it will not be without consequences. In any case, the question will be settled by the end of the year," he added.
If and when the charter comes into force, it will create the new position of president of the European Council.
Some European leaders, including Sarkozy himself, have suggested Blair would be a strong candidate, but a number of smaller countries have come out against the British politician and the French president sounded doubtful about his chances.
"The fact that Great Britain is not in the euro remains a problem," Sarkozy said.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by Andrew Roche)

Reuters