March 27, 2009 / 11:11 AM / 10 years ago

Czech PM says AC/DC behind "road to hell" comment

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek sits behind a desk during a government's meeting in Prague, March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Petr Josek

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Ousted Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says he was inspired by the rock group AC/DC when he mocked U.S. President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plans as a “road to hell.”

Topolanek criticized Washington’s anti-crisis spending in a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

“AC/DC played here (in Prague) last week. And their cult song ‘Highway to Hell’ might have led me in that very improvised speech to use the phrase ‘road to hell’,” Topolanek was quoted by daily Lidovy Noviny as saying on Friday.

Topolanek, who is due to host Obama on in Prague on April 5 in a European Union-U.S. summit, said he would not apologize.

The comments jarred a carefully crafted consensus among EU leaders before next week’s meeting of leaders of the G20 nations, including the United States, to agree ways out of the global recession. The Czech Republic currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

The day before his speech, Topolanek’s center-right government lost a confidence vote and he was forced to resign.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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