Insight Central Europe News

Poland's cabinet reshuffled after two ministers resign

Poland's president has sworn in Janusz Kaczmarek, as the new interior minister on Thursday after two ministers left the Cabinet within a week. Ludwik Dorn resigned as interior minister on Wednesday, two days after Defense Minister Radek Sikorski walked out. Both men cited irreconcilable differences with Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. On Thursday, President Lech Kaczynski, the prime minister's twin brother, thanked Dorn for his work at the ministry and formally appointed Kaczmarek to replace him. Kaczmarek has been Poland's chief prosecutor for the past 15 months.

Slovene's upset over maps showing disputed border with Croatia

There's upset in Slovenia over official maps and documents published in Croatia which appear to include part of Slovenian territory. The documents were published in Slovenian media on Wednesday and show the Bay of Piran evenly divided between the two countries. The Slovene foreign ministry has launched an official protest saying the documents prejudice the ongoing process to formally establish a permanent border between the two countries.

Hungary traces illegal waste to Germany

Hungary's environment minister says is has proven that a third of the illegal bulk waste found in Hungary has originated in Germany. An environment ministry official said Hungarian authorities have sent documents proving the source of the waste to German authorities. Almost 5 thousand tons of illegal bulk waste has been found at sites in Hungary. Under EU laws the waste must be dealt with in its country of origin. Four German and four Hungarian companies are under investigation for illegally transporting the waste.

Slovak police bust human trafficking ring

Authorities in Slovakia say they've broken up an internationally active human trafficking ring. Interior minister Rovert Kalinak told a press conference that at least 8 young Slovak women had been smuggled into Slovenia and sold into force prostitution. He said the group of ten traffickers came from both Slovenia and Slovakia. They had apparently used newspaper advertisements offering work as Au-Pairs and waitresses to attract the young women and then used threats of violence to force them into prostitution.

Bratislava takes on Brussels over emission limits

Slovakia's Justice Ministry is taking legal action against the European Commission with the aim of increasing the permitted emission quotas for Slovakia for the period 2008 to 2012. Slovakia had asked for permission to produce 41.3 million tons of CO2 but was allocated 25% less. Justice Minister Stefan Harabin told journalists it's the first ever legal action by Slovakia against the European Commission. The government in Bratislava believes economic growth will suffer if it is forced to meet the lower emission standards.

Czech's approve military hospital for Afghanistan

The Czech parliament has approved a plan to send a military hospital to Aghanistan. Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra told parliament the 6th field hospital with about 70 staff will be stationed at Kabul airport and serve under NATO's ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The hospital should start operating in March 2007 and stay in Kabul for a year. The Czechs already have 150 soldiers in Afghanistan, stationed in Kabul and in the country's north.