Demonstrators have marched through the centre of Prague in protest at US plans for an anti-missile radar base in the country. They claim the base would seriously harm the safety and interests of the people of the Czech Republic by making it a target. A re-drafted bill calling for a referendum on the issue will be presented to the Czech Parliament next week. However, it faces stiff opposition from the governing coalition and the opposition Social Democrats.
“We respect the opinion of the majority, that is why we are also fighting for a referendum. We think that this is such an important question that the members of parliament cannot decide it, the decision has to come from a referendum.”, said one protestor.
The second part of the plan, an anti-missile system, would be based in neighbouring Poland. Officials say the aim is to counter a long-range missile threat from Iran and North Korea. But Russia says it views the plans as a “clear threat” on its doorstep. Moscow has demanded talks with Washington.