Insight Central Europe News

Slovakia meets NATO request to re-deploy Afghanistan troops

The Slovak government has agreed to move its troops, stationed in Afghanistan, from Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar by June. The move follows a request from NATO for the 60 member engineering unit to move to the south to help with removing land mines and reconstruction. Bratislava has agreed to the redeployment of the troops under the condition that they do not operate outside the Kandahar military base. TASR news agency quoted Prime Minister Robert Fico as saying the troops should move to Kandahar by June.

Hungarian PM says anti-Semitism on the increase

Hungary's prime-minister Ferenc Gyurcsany says anti-Semitism is on the rise following the wave of demonstrations against the government last year. In an interview with the Times newspaper, Gyurcsany said he had never seen so many anti-Semitic remarks as now. The prime minister said that during last year's demonstrations a list of allegedly Jewish politicians was read out in the parliamentary square. He accused members of the right wing opposition Fidesz party of appearing on the same platform afterwards and failing to distance themselves. Fidesz officials deny accusations of anti-Semitism and accuse the government of using scare tactics to frighten their supporters.

Poland: Environmentalists leave Rospuda River camps

In Poland Greenpeace protesters have left their camps in the Rospuda River Valley after receiving assurances that construction work on a controversial highway project would be suspended. The assurances were given by the National Conservation inspector and the project's main investor. However environmentalists say they will continue to monitor the site and will return to their camps if the investor violates the five month nesting period for protected bird species. The Rospuda River Valley is included in the EU's Nature 2000 list.

Czech officials confirm leak at Temelin - no contamination

Officials in the Czech Republic say about 2,000 liters of radioactive water leaked at the Temelin nuclear power plant last week but did not contaminate the environment. Temelin spokesman Milan Nebesar said an open valve at the plant's first unit was responsible for the leak. The plant is currently shut for fuel replacment. Nebesar said the plant's management has informed Czech and Austrian authorities about the leak.

ECB chief calls on Western Europe to open up labour market to Slovenia

The President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, has urged Western European nations to end restrictions on workers from Slovenia. He said Slovenia has entered the Euro area and should be granted "full access to the labor markets of all Euro area countries." Most EU member states placed restrictions on workers from the former communist countries of Central Europe when they joined the EU in 2004. Only Britain, Sweden and Ireland fully opened their labour markets. Under EU rules citizens are supposed to have the right to live and work in any member state.