Insight Central Europe News

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Hungary reacts angrily to comments by Slovak nationalist politician

Hungary has urged the Slovak government to distance itself from comments made by Slovak National Party leader Jan Slota, who said an ethnic Hungarian party in Slovakia should be banned. Hungary's foreign minister, Kinga Goncz, said his government were shocked by the statement and would make an official complaint if the Slovak government did not react appropriately. Mr Slota, a member of the new Slovak coalition, also accused the Hungarian majority in southern Slovakia of "repressing" Slovak citizens.

Hungary not in running to host US anti-missile base

Hungary has denied that the United States asked it to host an anti-missile defence programme. The Hungarian government said in a statement on Wednesday that press reports the country was a potential site for part of the US Missile Defence Initiative were completely unfounded. Poland has said it would consider hosting the system and US officials have also been looking at sites in the Czech Republic.

Poland gets French, German backing for NATO base

Poland says it has secured the backing of Germany and France to host a new NATO base. The base, part of the alliance's new surveillance system dubbed "eye in the sky", should be awarded to Poland by the end of this year, said Defence Minister Radoslaw Skiroski. The project could bring around 3,000 jobs and millions of euros in investment.

Envoy of Slovenian president arrested in Darfur, Sudan

An envoy of the Slovenian president was arrested during a visit to the Sudanese region of Darfur, officials there said on Tuesday. The Slovenian president's office said envoy Tomo Kriznar had contacted it to say he was dealing with the Sudanese authorities over a visa problem. It was not immediately clear whether Mr Kriznar was there on official business for Slovenia. The country had held intensive talks with Darfur rebels prior to the signing of a peace deal in May.

Czech Republic has biggest power blackout for 30 years

The operators of the Czech Republic's electricity system declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, after the biggest network collapse in three decades. The blackout was blamed on high consumption in southern Europe, as the ongoing heat wave keeps use of air-conditioning high. Normal service resumed after several hours.

Soft landing for St Bernard - on pedestrian

A pedestrian in the Polish city of Sosnowiec broke the fall of a 50-kg St Bernard, after the dog's drunken owner threw it out of a second-storey window. The dog had a soft landing because it fell on a man, said a local police spokesman. The pedestrian was reported to be in shock but not badly hurt.