Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Star Wars Deal Signed

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Affairs Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg signed the hugely unpopular Star Wars radar deal this morning in Prague despite opposition of 70% of the Czech population and thousands of Europeans.

In Prague's Wenceslas square this afternoon 5,000 expressed their outrage at the high-handedness of the anomalous right-wing government coalition, which brings together Christian Democrats and Greens. In the words of Jan Tamas, "the battle is just beginning! We do not want any American bases, Russian bases or Chinese bases. We do not want foreign armies occupying our territory. They have stepped on two thirds of this country's population, they have disregarded the pleas of artists, sociologists, academics, doctors and those who have fought for freedom in this country but they will not stop us."

The Czech government decided to ignore the calls to wait for the new US administration and to consult with the other 26 EU member States before committing itself to hosting a US military base, part of the American Missile Defence system, creating international tensions and targeting the heart of Europe. The agreement must now be ratified by the Czech Parliament and then signed by the President before becoming effective. The Parliament is divided in two but Jan Tamas voiced preoccupations that the US will buy those opposing the deal, tipping the scales in their favor.

The issue will be discussed tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in the EU Parliament in Strasburg at the "Why a USA Missile Shield in Europe" hearing where Jan Tamas will be accompanied by Europe for Peace spokesperson Giorgio Schultze. The following week, on July 17 at 11:00 a.m., there will be an anti-Star Wars conference in the Czech Parliament in Prague attended by European Parliament Vice President, Luisa Morgantini.



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