BRUSSELS, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Czech representative to the European Parliament says countries should be allowed to decide if they wish to join or remain in the eurozone.
Jan Zahradil, a leader of the Eropean Conservatives and Reformists, said in a statement the terms of the common currency area have changed since the Czech Republic agreed to join in 2003, the EUobserver reported. He cited the agreement on bailing out Greece.
"We should allow non-eurozone members -- such as my country the Czech Republic -- to decide again whether they wish to enter. We signed up to a monetary union, not a transfer union or a bond union in our accession treaty," Zahradil said. "This is the major reason why the Czech prime minister wishes to call the referendum on this matter."
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas pushed for a referendum during a congress of the ruling ODS Party last Sunday. He also said that German proposals to deepen the zone's economic integration would transfer power from the Czech government to Brussels and would require a national vote.
There are now 17 countries in the eurozone. Eastern European countries that joined the European Union since 2003 are required to join once they meet certain financial criteria.