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Czech gov’t to offer money to its villages near US radar

The Czech government will promise development aid to the mayors of the villages situated near the planned US radar base in the Brdy military training grounds, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said on Monday.

The planned budget allowed for the “allocation of money to the development of the Brdy region” that had been neglected for decades, Topolanek said. He said he reacted to the demands for backing arising from some mayors. “The plan will be implemented irrespective of whether the radar installations will eventually be there,” Topolanek said.

Investments in the regional infrastructure was welcomed by Mayor of Spalene Porici Pavel Cizek. However, they should be provided irrespective of the radar installations, he added. “We have pointed to the neglect of and discrimination against small towns and villages for a long time,” Cizek said. The United States unveiled its plan in January to place a radar system in the Czech Republic.

The plan also proposes that 10 long-range interceptors capable of shooting down missiles be stationed in Poland. According to a recent opinion poll, more than two thirds of Czech citizens oppose the base. In referendums held in several municipalities surrounding the Brdy area, people have voted against the base. (