Insight Central Europe News

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Slovak president calls referendum on government

Slovak President Rudolf Schuster has scheduled a referendum on early elections to be held on the same day as the first round of the presidential elections on April the 3rd. Coalition parties have accused the president of trying to win the votes of those who are in favour of eliminating the current cabinet.

Israel returns ambassador to Austria after 4 years

Israel returned its ambassador to Austria on Thursday. Israel withdrew its ambassador from Vienna in February 2000 in protest at the inclusion of the right wing Freedom Party in government. In a visit to Vienna in November, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel had agreed to mend fences with Austria because the country's officials had made several symbolic acts indicating remorse for the country's role in the Holocaust.

Woman sets herself ablaze close to Socialist headquarters

A woman has died in Budapest after setting herself ablaze in a park close to the headquarters of the Hungarian Socialist Party. Police say there is no reason to believe the woman's death was politically motivated.

Czechs nominate environmentalist to EU Commission

The Czech government has nominated former Environment Minister Milos Kuzvart as the Czech Republic's EU commissioner. If approved by the European Parliament, Kuzvart will take up the post when the country joins the union in May. Kuzvart, is currently a parliamentary deputy for the governing Social Democratic Party, served as environment minister between 1998-2002.

Polish Director wins Grand Freedom Award

Marcel Lozinski, one of Poland's top documentary movie directors has been honoured with the Grand Freedom Award at the International Film Festival in Berlin. The distinction has been founded for Central & Eastern European directors in recognition for outstanding achievements and contribution to the process of democratisation.