News Friday, JUNE 26th, 1998

Message of the Day: Today is International anti-Drugs Day, which was first declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987. Head of the Czech anti-drug commission Pavel Bem, who recently attended a GA of the United Nations, emphasized the need to find an alternative to jail for young people addicted to drugs. He also spoke out against the latest amendment to the Czech drug law which calls for harsher punishments for people found to be either using or in possession of drugs.

Radio Prague E News Written / Read by: Pauline Newman Date: 26.6.98

Hello and a very warm welcome to the programme. I'm Pauline Newman first let's take a look at the main stories of the day:

You are tuned to Radio Prague. Those were the headlines, now let's take a look at the news in full:

Zeman / Coalition

Leader of the Social Democrats, Milos Zeman continued on Thursday in his efforts to create a new government. He warned however, that a long road lay ahead in forming a coalition and estimated his chances at forty percent. The 53 year old election winner said his initial talks had produced three possibilities all of which needed further meetings.

Zeman later met with President Vaclav Havel and informed him of three possible coalition combinations. The main proposal is a combination of Zeman's party, Josef Lux's Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union.

However, after a meeting with Freedom Union leader Jan Ruml, earlier in the day, it emerged that although the Social democrat chief outlined a few proposals (which he has refused to publicise for the time being) neither were able to come to an agreement on the face of the next cabinet.

Zeman said on Thursday evening, that President Havel would use his influence in talks with Josef Lux and Jan Ruml.

Earlier in the day, however, after meeting Christian Democrat leader Josef Lux, Zeman told journalists that they both shared a desire to form a coalition which would bring about "sensible changes". According to Zeman, these changes would correct the mistakes made by the last government.

Josef lux for his part, said that the Christian Democrats were very willing to discuss this type of coalition, comprising of the two parties plus the Freedom Union. He added that his party and the Freedom Union would not support social democracy, but defend right wing values. Mr Lux said that such a government would be capable of resolving the issue of EU and NATO membership, cracking down on corruption and creating a decent society for people to live in.

If Zeman fails to form a government, former Premier Vaclav Klaus whose centre right Civic Democratic Party, the ODS finished second, will probably be asked to try. He would like to form a coalition with the Christian Democrats and Freedom Union, but that would be similar to his last coalition which collapsed last year.

Romany / motives

A Czech court decided yesterday that none of the three men accused of killing a young Romany woman at the start of the year, did so from racist motives.

A State attorney told journalists on Thursday that there was no proof the woman had been murdered because of her ethnic origins.

The killing shook the romany community in the Czech Republic, because of its brutality.

Investigators said she had been severely beaten and then thrown into a river by three skinheads. The court heard however on Thursday, that the motive had been that the Romany woman allegedly stole 200 crowns from one of the men.

Freedom Union / Club

The new members of the Freedom Union's political club, are set to hold elections to the post of Chairman and discuss new strategies on Friday.

They are also expected to decided who will hold negotiations with other political clubs on behalf of the party.

Party official Vladimir Mlynar said on Thursday that the next government should continue the work started by Josef Tosovsky's government.

NATO / Survey

The latest statistics show that support among Czechs for entry to NATO has dropped during June to the April level. An opinion poll shows that only 51 percent of Czech people would theoretically be in favour of joining the alliance.

The survey revealed that men were found to be in favour of membership more often than women as were people with higher education and supporters of right wing Parliamentary parties.

BIS / Extremism

The Czech Intelligence service the BIS has warned that extremist movements in the Czech Republic are on the increase. According to a BIS report, the structure and programme of these groups, as well as the number of members has grown over the last two years.

The report which came out on Thursday, and is available on the internet, states that the aim of these groups is to keep the Czech Republic out of European structures.

In cases of leftist groups, the aim is allegedly to return to socialism, under Moscow's authority.

The second group is anarchistic by nature, propagating the destruction of the present system in the country.

The third group is nationalistic, promotes pan-slavism and views western Europe as very dangerous.

Hasek / Awards

Dominik Hasek, the goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres, has become the first goalie to win the Hart Trophy in consecutive seasons after being named the NHL's most valuable player.

Dominik Hasek, who is from a town some 100 kilometres east of Prague also won the Vezina trophy, awarded to the top goaltender, for the second year running and fourth time in his brilliant career.

The hat trick of honours scooped up by "The Dominator" as he has been nicknamed, capped a tremendous season for the All Star net minder, whose play between the pipes in Nagano, carried the Czech Republic to its first Olympic gold medal four months ago.

We end as usual with a brief look at the weather:

A ridge of high pressure moving over the Czech Republic means that the weather on Friday will be warm but at times quite muggy. It is possible that there will be rain towards the afternoon and that we'll be seeing heavier showers in Moravia. Temperatures will reach 28 degrees celsius during the day, dropping at night to 14 degrees celsius.

I'm Pauline Newman and that's the end of the news.