News

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Parties of emerging coalition government approve joint programme

The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens have approved a draft coalition programme that their party leaders drew up on Friday. The programme names six priorities - the European Union and international cooperation; the citizen, family, education and culture, respect for the rule of law and the fight against corruption; public finances; a modern economy and new work places; and comfortable rural and urban living standards. An agreement to form a new coalition government is expected to be signed on Monday.

President Klaus: Jiri Paroubek will not be entrusted with the forming of new government

Should the emerging coalition government of the Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and the Greens fail to get a vote of confidence in the lower house of Parliament, the leader of the Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek will not automatically be entrusted with the forming of a new government, TV Prima has reported. In an interview for the country's second largest commercial station, President Vaclav Klaus said the Civic Democrats, which won most votes in the election earlier this month, have an obligation to form a new government and Mr Paroubek should not get his hopes up.

Civic Democrat leader Miroslav Topolanek expects a confidence vote on the three-party coalition government to take place in about four weeks' time. If three attempts at forming a new government fail, Czech citizens will return to the polls in early elections.

Hundreds commemorate 64th anniversary of Lezaky massacre

Hundreds of people attended a memorial ceremony on Sunday on the site of Lezaky, one of the two Czech villages that the Nazis razed to the ground 64 years ago. In retaliation for the assassination of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, all the children in the village were transported to either concentration camps or resettled with German families whilst all adults were killed and Lezaky grazed to the ground on June 24th 1942. Among those who attended the ceremony were Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka.

Aero Vodochody site could develop into international airport

The site of the troubled Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody, which is to be privatized, could be used as a second international airport, a transport ministry report says. The report refutes fears expressed by Transport Minister Milan Simonovsky earlier this year that the plan could have a negative economic impact on Prague's international Ruzyne airport. Aero Vodochody could be attractive for lower category aircraft. The report writes that both airports could have the capacity to serve a total of 27 million passengers in 2022.

NATO: Czech law on protection of secret information needs amendment

NATO has expressed dissatisfaction with part of a Czech law on the protection of secret information. The Alliance opposes the fact that Czech MPs and Senators can gain access to secret materials without going through a security vetting procedure at the National Security Office (NBU). In a television debate on Sunday, NBU head Petr Hostek said NATO could deny the Czech Republic access to the Alliance's secret information if the law is not amended.

EC poll: Many Czechs having reservations about giving up Czech crown for euro

More than half of the Czech population is not happy about giving up its currency for the euro, results of a poll commissioned by the European Commission suggest. In the poll on attitudes on the euro in EU member states outside the euro-zone, 52 percent of respondents also said the adoption of the euro would benefit their country. Most Czechs, an EC report says, expect the country to have adopted the euro by 2010.

Weather

The next few days are expected to see partially cloudy skies with temperatures reaching highs of up to 32 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists have warned of rain and thunder storms around the country on Sunday night and throughout the first half of the week.