Czech President Miloš Zeman has called for a referendum on exiting the European Union and NATO. Poll claims 49% of Czechs support staying in EU while 34% want to exit.
Zeman says that he personally backs the country remaining in both organizations, but said that he “will do everything for [Czechs] to have a referendum and be able to express themselves.
The president does not have the authority to call a referendum as it would require an amendment to the constitution. Still, the country is home to many Euroskeptics.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said: “Membership in these organizations is a guarantee of stability and security. The government is not considering taking any steps which would question in any way our membership and the long-term orientation of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy”.
The Czech Republic, which joined the NATO Western defence alliance in 1999 and the EU in 2004, does not have a referendum law.
The membership of the European Union is very beneficial to the Czech Republic, as it receives $8.3 billion annually which is more than it contributes.