The Czech government faces a vote of no-confidence later today that will be watched closely in Washington and Brussels.
If Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek loses, big question marks will be left over the EU’s Lisbon treaty, Czech adoption of the Euro currency and the US’s planned missile defence shield in Europe. Topolanek argues that a change of government will damage the country’s chances of overcoming the global economic crisis. To win the vote he must convince four out of the seven independent members of the Czech parliament to back him. He would also need the support of all the members of his own coalition. It is the fifth vote of no-confidence in Topolanek’s government and the left-wing opposition’s best chance yet of defeating him and forcing a snap election this summer.