News Monday, APRIL 06th, 1998

Radio Prague E news Date: April 6th, 1998 Written / read by: Alena Skodova

Hello and welcome to RP. I'm AS and we start as usual with the headlines:

Those were the main points and now the news in more detail:

Zeman - support

The Central executive committee of the Social democratic party has expressed support for party leader Milos Zeman. In a secret ballot 127 committee members rejected Zeman's resignation, which he offered earlier this week in the wake of the so-called Bamberg affair. Zeman had been accused of signing a power-for-money deal with Swiss-based Czech entrepreneurs back in 1995. Zeman said he respects the Executive committee's decision and that he will do all he can to see that the papers linked with the Bamberg affair are proven to be forgeries by independent investigation, and their author brought to light. The affair, which has been shaking the Social democratic party for more than two weeks now, is - on the order of president Vaclav Havel - being investigated by the Czech intelligence service. The Social democrats are convinced that the whole affair is fiction, directed towards their party before the June elections with the aim of discrediting it.

Social democrats reject the Freedom Union

Social democrat leader Milos Zeman has sharply rejected the possibility of a post-election coalition with the newly established Freedom Union. According to him, the Freedom Union is chiefly to blame in everything bad that happened in the former government. Zeman accused members of the Union who defected from the Civic democratic party of doing so only in order to avoid punishment for crimes they had committed, and described the Freedom Union as Social democrat rival number one. In contrast, the confrontational policy of the Social democrats has been rejected by party member and deputy Karel Machovec, known as another participant in the Bamberg affair. Machovec told newsmen that after the elections, the Social democrats will have to consider a new political style.

ODA - new leader

Daniel Kroupa, one of the "spiritual fathers" of the Civic democratic alliance, has been elected the alliance's new chairman at a nation-wide ODA conference in Kladno. "I will do my best to be a strong leader, act correctly and listen to what people say," Kroupa said after his election, adding that he had decided to run for this post to fulfil the expectations of the alliance's voters. In a report on ODA activity since its last conference in Brno, Kroupa said that he had succeeded in consolidating the alliance to the extent that will be able to take part in June's early general elections. He described his party's departure from the governmental coalition last November as an "unhappy" move, which opened a way to power for extremist and left-wing parties.

Czech republic - EU - Germany

According to its ambassador to Prague, Michael Steiner, Germany is immensely interested in the Czech republic's speedy admission to the European Union. Steiner made this statement at the 7th conference on Czech-German relations that was held in Jihlava over the past weekend, adding that Germany's agreement with Czech EU membership is a clear signal that Germans take their new partnership with Czechs seriously. The discussion in Jihlava was organized by the Sudeten German Ackermann Community and the Bernard Bolzano Foundation from Prague. The conference also discussed the Czech-German Future Fund, which - according to some German officials - will unfortunatelly be unable to meet all the expectations of the Czech side.


And finally a quick look at the weather: it will be cloudy in the Czech republic today, with occasional rain showers and daily hights between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.