Majority in both Poland and Czech Republic oppose participation in US missile Shield.

Of course the fact that a majority oppose the shield is no guarantee that the installations will not go ahead. No doubt the Polish and Czech government expect some reward from the US and unless there is real political trouble they will go ahead.


More Czechs Reject U.S. Missile Shield
July 24, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - People in the Czech Republic are increasingly opposed to participating in a United States defence plan in Central Europe, according to a poll by CVVM. 65 per cent of respondents reject the construction of a missile defence shield base in their territory, up four points since May.

An additional 74 per cent of respondents want the government to call for a nationwide referendum on this matter.

In December 2002, U.S. president George W. Bush announced plans for the development of initial defence capabilities, which include ground-based and sea-based missile interceptors, as well as sensors located in space. Washington has explained the project as a means to defend the U.S. and its European allies from a potential attack by Iran or North Korea.

In January, the U.S. issued a formal request to place a radar base in the Czech Republic—in a military area southwest of Prague—as well as 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

The Czech Republic—a member of both the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—is expected to start negotiations with the U.S. on the construction of the radar base soon. Some EU officials have asked the Czech Republic to include the continental group in these discussions, but the government of Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek has so far declined to do so.

On Jul. 19, Henry Obering, the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said there are other options for the project in case Poland and the Czech Republic cannot participate, adding, "We have other countries that are not exactly as optimal but they would be sufficient. Public opinion (in Poland and the Czech Republic) is an interesting thing but you cannot let it to become the guiding factor in decision making."

Here is the Polish poll:

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Poles Still Reject U.S. Missile Shield
July 20, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Although more people in Poland favour their country’s participation in a defence program with the United States, a majority is still against it, according to a poll by CBOS. 55 per cent of respondents oppose the deployment of an anti-missile shield in Polish soil, down five points since June.

In December 2002, U.S. president George W. Bush announced plans for the development of initial defence capabilities, which include ground-based and sea-based missile interceptors, as well as sensors located in space. Washington has explained the project as a means to defend the U.S. and its European allies from a potential attack by Iran or North Korea.

In January, the U.S. issued a formal request to place a missile defence radar base in the Czech Republic—in a military area southwest of Prague—as well as 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

On Jul. 16, Bush met with Polish president Lech Kaczynski in Washington. Kaczynski reiterated the country’s decision to participate in the defence plan despite Russia’s fierce opposition to it, declaring, "The shield will exist because for Poland this will be a very good thing. (...) It is aimed at defence of our democracies against the countries who might have, or already do have nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. (...) And so I do hope that all this project, the whole project will be completed successfully."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the deployment of an anti-missile shield in Poland?

Jul. 2007
Jun. 2007

Support
28%
26%

Oppose
55%
60%

Not sure
17%
14%



Source: CBOS
Methodology: Interviews with 1,064 Polish adults, conducted from Jun. 29 to Jul. 2, 2007. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent

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