Politicians welcome "yes" vote


Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said it was "a historical and fateful vote" but quickly reminded Czechs that much needed to be done for the Czech Republic to join the EU as an equal partner next May. He said that the positive outcome of the vote gave the government, which has a narrow one-vote majority in the Lower House, a strengthened mandate to enact key reforms needed for the eventual adoption of the euro. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said the outcome was a success for all Czech citizens. Although no minimum turnout was required, a fairly strong turnout was important for the ruling coalition which has spent 200 million crowns on a campaign promoting EU membership. Joining the European Union has been the country's main foreign policy goal since the fall of communism in 1989.