The Lisbon reform treaty faced another setback yesterday when Slovakia said it would block a Czech bid to seek an opt-out unless it too had guarantees that ethnic German and Hungarian deportees would not press legal claims to confiscated property.

'We have only two options. We will either veto the Czech proposal in the EU Council, or we will insist on that it applies to Slovakia as well,' said Robert Fico, the Slovak prime minister, on his website.

Fico’s stance risks adding further complications to the EU’s hopes to secure rapid implementation of the Lisbon treaty, which aims to modernise the EU’s decision-making procedures and help Europe project its influence more effectively on the world stage.

Financial Times