Insight Central Europe News

Poland: Hundreds sign letter condemning priest's comments as anti-Semitic

In Poland more than 700 people, including a former prime minister and foreign minister, have signed an open letter condemning anti-Semitic comments by the Catholic priest, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk. The letter, posted on the Web site of the Krakow-based Center for Culture and Dialogue, calls on Roman Catholic Church leaders to bring Father Rydzyk in line with church teachings which describes anti-Semitism as a sin. Polish media reports that the priest gave a lecture in which he described Jews as greedy and criticised President Lech Kaczynski for donating land for a Jewish museum.

Opinion poll - two-thirds of Czechs oppose US missile shield

A new opinion poll claims more than two thirds of Czechs are against parts of a United States missile shield being built in the Czech Republic. The poll, by the state-funded CWM agency, says 65% of those asked were against the plan and only 28% in favour. Washington wants to build radar bases in the Czech Republic linked to interceptor missiles in Poland. The US says the bases will protect against missiles from countries such as Iran and North Korea.

Turkey lodges diplomatic protest with Austria over release of PKK official

Turkey has officially protested to Austria over the handling of a member of the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK. Ankara says it can not understand why Austrian authorities allowed the man to go free after he was arrested at Vienna airport. It's alleged Riza Altun is a senior figure in the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, and is wanted by Interpol. Austrian authorities took him into custody when he arrived at Vienna airport from France on July 4th but he was later released.

Hungary's PM meets Russian President

Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia's Mordovia region last week. Gurcsany was there at Putin's invitation, to attend a festival of Finno-Ugric peoples. Bilateral trade was discussed with Hungary's Prime Minister saying trade between the two countries had increased considerably in the past five years.

Brussels approves Slovak subsidies to Kia car factory

The European Commission has given the green light for Slovak subsidies to the new Kia Motors car factory in the west of the country. The commission said the 32 million euro package was in line with EU rules and would not give the South Korean company an unfair advantage. The Kia plant officially opened in April near the city of Zilina. It's expected to create three thousand jobs when it reaches full capacity in 2010.

Slovenia leads Central Europe building boom

A new report from the European Union says Slovenia is leading a building boom among new EU members. The report says seasonally adjusted figures show Slovenia's building applications up almost 50 percent in May compared to the same month last year. Among the four Visegrad states Poland led the building boom with an increase of 16%.