A petition committee led by former Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský today begins collecting signatures to force a referendum on Slovakia's joining Nato, which organisers would like to see held at the same time as a plebiscite on EU entry.
While the constitution does not require that a referendum on joining Nato be held, a call for the ballot has attracted the support of a disparate group, ranging from the Russophile Čarnogurský to Communist Party members and democrats who believe such major decisions should always be made directly by the voters.
Given that support for joining Nato is around 50 per cent, compared to almost 70 per cent for joining the EU, government officials fear the a Nato ballot could produce a 'no' vote.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
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7. Jan 2003 at 10:21