Thursday, March 26, 2009

Czech Government Collapses

Czech vote dooms BMD defense against Iran

United Press Internatonal — The pro-American Czech government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek fell Tuesday after being defeated in a vote of confidence in Parliament. That event may have sounded the death knell for U.S. plans to defend the Eastern Seaboard of the United States from Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons.
The U.S. plan, formulated by the Bush administration, was to build two ballistic missile defense bases in Central Europe. One was to be located in Poland and house 10 Ground-based Mid-course Interceptors, known as GBIs, that could shoot down Iranian-launched ICBMs in flight. The other base was to be in the neighboring Czech Republic. It would have housed the very advanced radar tracking arrays that were needed to guide the super-fast GBIs -- flying at 20,000 to 25,000 miles per hour -- to their ICBM targets.
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Czech government loses confidence vote

Reuters — Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's minority center-right government lost a vote of confidence Tuesday and will probably leave office after the country's term as European Union president finishes in June.
Topolanek said he was ready to resign, although the opposition Social Democrats said his government could stay on until Prague hands over the EU's six-month's rotating presidency to Sweden. He said the vote would have no impact on the EU role.
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EU Risks Paralysis as Czech Collapse Snarls Treaty

Bloomberg — The collapse of the Czech government threatened a new setback for the European Union’s stalled governing treaty, distracting the bloc’s leadership just as President Barack Obama presses for bolder European steps to confront the recession.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek tendered his resignation today after losing a March 24 no-confidence vote, raising a new hurdle to passage of the treaty by lawmakers in Prague. A setback there may undercut a referendum in Ireland, the only other country that still hasn’t ratified it.
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