2,000 protest against US radar near planned site in Czech Republic

Other News Materials 19 April 2008 21:12

( dpa ) - An estimated 2,000 people gathered in a Czech village Saturday to protest against the placing a US missile shield base in a nearby military zone, police spokeswoman Ilona Tymlova said.

The protesters then marched in rain from Misov, south-west of Prague, to the limits of the Brdy military zone in what was one of the largest protests against the US radar.

Polls have repeatedly shown that more than six out of 10 Czechs oppose hosting the US facility.

According to the latest survey by the Public Opinion Research Centre conducted in February, 67 per cent are against the base.

Despite adverse public opinion the Czech and US governments are close to reaching a deal on placing the base on Czech territory.

Czech and US negotiators are likely to wrap up missile defence talks next week, the Czech Defence Ministry said.

The Czech-US agreement requires approval in parliament where the centre-right ruling coalition so far lacks clear support for the project.

Washington has also asked Poland to host 10 interceptor missiles as part of its planned missile defence system. The plan to place the installations in former Soviet satellites has infuriated Russia.