News



DATE=4/14/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229611
TITLE=CZECH - NATO (S)
BYLINE=ART CHIMES
DATELINE=PRAGUE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE PARLIAMENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC IS TO MEET TODAY 
(EDS: 1200 UTC) / IS MEETING TO CONSIDER THE COUNTRY'S MEMBERSHIP
IN NATO.  BUT THERE APPEARS TO BE LITTLE DOUBT ABOUT THE OUTCOME.
AS V-O-A PRAGUE CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS.

TEXT:  APPROVAL OF THE NATO TREATY IS EXPECTED BY A WIDE MARGIN. 
ONLY THE COMMUNISTS AND THE RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN PARTY OPPOSE 
THE TREATY, WHICH WOULD MAKE THE CZECH REPUBLIC -- AS WELL AS 
POLAND AND HUNGARY -- THE FIRST POST-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES TO JOIN 
THE ALLIANCE.

SURVEYS INDICATE THE CZECH PUBLIC SUPPORTS NATO MEMBERSHIP, BUT 
BY A SMALLER MARGIN THAN CITIZENS OF THE TWO OTHER CANDIDATE 
COUNTRIES.

SUPPORTERS SAY THAT AFTER FOUR DECADES OF COMMUNIST RULE, WHICH 
FOLLOWED NAZI DOMINATION IN WORLD WAR TWO, THE COUNTRY NEEDS THE 
PROTECTION OF ITS STRONGER NEIGHBORS TO THE WEST.  TROUBLES IN 
THE BALKANS, SAY THOSE WHO SUPPORT NATO MEMBERSHIP, SHOW THAT 
EUROPE IS STILL A DANGEROUS PLACE.  

BUT OPPONENTS SAY THAT WITH THE END OF THE COLD WAR, THE ALLIANCE
IS  NO  LONGER NEEDED, AND ITS EXPANSION COULD BE SEEN AS A 
PROVOCATION BY MOSCOW.  (SIGNED)

NEB/ART/PCF

14-Apr-98 7:30 AM EDT (1130 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.