Insight Central Europe News

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German Chancellor discusses US missile base in Poland

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Poland on Friday for meetings with Polish leaders that included discussion of the controversial missile base the US plans to build in Poland. Earlier in the week Merkel said Germany prefers a solution involving NATO in the missile defence system. She was due to discuss this with Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The U.S. is planning to put 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic.

Riots mar Hungary's National Day celebrations

Violent riots marred Hungary's National Day celebrations on Thursday. Police used water cannon and tear gas to repel around 1,000 skinheads and right-wing extremists after the arrest of their leader Gyorgy Budahazy. Budahazy was wanted by police for his role in last year's riots. Dozens of police and protesters were injured in the clashes. Earlier thousands of conservative protesters staged a peaceful demonstration demanding the resignation of socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

Iran's Foreign Minister visits Slovenia

Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Slovenia last week for talks with senior government officials and Slovenian President Janez Drnovsek. Slovenia currently chairs the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The government said the talks focused mainly on bilateral relations but also touched on Iran's nuclear program. Iran is facing new United Nation's sanctions over its refusal to give up uranium enrichment.

Samsung signs deal on major plant in Slovakia

Slovakia's government and the South Korean company Samsung Electronics have signed an investment agreement that will see a new plant built in the village of Voderady, near Trnava. Samsung's plant for production of flat LCD monitors will employ 1,200 people. It's expected subcontractors will create another 4,500 jobs. In the investment agreement, Samsung undertook to invest 320 million euros in Slovakia. State support for the company is said be almost 22 percent of the investment. Production at the plant will begin next spring.

PM wants Czech Republic to sign up to Intl. Criminal Court

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says the Czech Republic should sign up to the International Criminal Court and end its "barely sustainable position" of being the only EU state not to have done so. Speaking in parliament on Thursday, Mr Topolanek said the Czech Republic should sign up to the treaty by the time it takes over the EU's presidency in 2009. MPs from Mr Topolanek's own Civic Democratic Party voted down a proposal to sign up to the statute creating the Hague-based court in 2001 because of fears that it would leave Czechs open to international prosecution. The Czech foreign ministry has admitted the country's current position is an embarrassment.