Social Democrats want broad debate on US missile base

The leadership of the Social Democratic party has urged party members to take an active part in a discussion on the possible stationing of a US missile base on Czech territory. Party leader Jiri Paroubek said he wanted this issue to be one of the focal points of the party's campaign in local elections coming up in the autumn. The Social Democrats have been pushing for a national referendum on the US missile base to be part of an agreement with the Civic Democrats. Washington has not yet decided whether to locate the base in the Czech Republic or Poland, but the Czech foreign minister has indicated that some kind of offer will almost certainly be made. The only opinion survey available on the subject suggests that 82 percent of Czechs do not want a US missile base in the Czech Republic.