Insight Central Europe News

Slovene train with radio-active material turned back by Ukraine

A freight train transporting radioactive material from Slovenia to Belarus was turned back by authorities in Ukraine after it was claimed radio-active emissions from its cargo were higher than permitted. The train, which left Slovenia a week ago, had already transited Hungary with officials there saying emissions were well below the permitted level and posed no threat to the environment. It's reported the train has returned to Slovenia.

Czech defence spending "ineffectual" - former defence minister

The new Czech NATO assistant secretary general Jiri Sedivy has described the Czech Republic's defence spending as inefficient. Mr Sedivy made the remarks during an interview on Czech Television. He said the Czech Republic spent less than the recommended 2% of GDP on defence, and that the money that was spent, was spent ineffectually. Mr Sedivy was himself the Czech defence minister, between September 2006 and January 2007.

Poland's skilled workers attract foreign investors - new study

A new report says Poland's low labour costs, its skilled workforce and membership of the European Union are the main attractions for foreign investors. The study was conducted by the Market Economy Research Institute and says the least attractive aspects of Poland are political instability and a lack of globally active businesses. Poor infrastructure was also cited as a negative by foreign investors.

Slovakia fires brought under control

Forest fires in Slovakia's protected natural area of Slovensky Raj were brought under control this week after a ten day battle. At the peak of the blaze 80 fire-fighters and several helicopters fought the blaze which burnt for ten days south of the Tatra mountains.

Hungary angered by Raab River pollution

Hungary's minister for the environment has criticised Austria over renewed pollution of the Raab River which runs between the two countries, and says he was not informed about it by Austrian authorities, although a recent agreement signed by the two countries obliges Vienna to do so. A Hungarian newspaper is reporting that foam has again built up on the river from a leather factory on the Austrian side of the border. The Hungarian minister, Gabor Fodor, said he would be taking a tougher line with Austria.