News Monday, JULY 05th, 1999

Radio Prague E-news 5.7.1999

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail :

Zeman faces the music unperturbed

Premier Milos Zeman has remained unconcerned in the face of severe criticism regarding his Cabinet’s performance in office and a Parliament resolution suggesting that his government is detrimental to the state of Czech society. He told newsmen Sunday he felt no reason for concern even after two opposition parties tried to drum up support for a resolution calling on the Cabinet to resign. It is only natural that opposition parties should grab every opportunity to criticize and define themselves, especially with respect to a minority government. I understand their position and I don’t hold a grudge, the premier said, adding that it would be business as usual after the storm subsided. However the opposition Freedom Union, is not about to give up. Its leader Jan Ruml told journalists on Sunday that his party would attempt to collect 50 signatures among mps under a petition for the Lower House to re-open a debate on a vote of no-confidence in the present leadership.

Czechs tell Zeman to provide the evidence or go

Opinion polls have revealed growing public discontent with the lack of political ethics in this country. In relation to the most recent political scandal in which premier Zeman accused former foreign minister Josef Zieleniec of using state funds to bribe newsmen , respondents revealed impatience with the constant mudslinging and the way such affairs always got swept under the carpet without reaching a satisfactory conclusion. 85% respondents said premier Zeman should either produce the evidence he claims to have or refrain from slinging mud at political opponents. 59% expressed the view that if he failed to produce any evidence he should resign. Having said that, three fifth of respondents said they were quite ready to believe that bribery in political, economic and media circles takes place.

Bishops say Czech children need better upbringing

Thirteen Czech Bishops of the Czech Bishops Conference met over the weekend to discuss ways of reintroducing morals, ethics and family values into primary school education. They expressed concern over the fact that for years children appeared to have been deprived of the benefit of these teachings the result being loose morals, crime, drugs, racism and a blatant disregard for traditional family values . If we want to improve the moral standing of this nation , its quality of life and concern for others and the Planet Earth then we must start with the young generation, Daniel Herman, spokesman for the Bishops Conference told newsmen later. An attempt is to be made to discuss with education ministry officials the possibility of introducing such classes in primary and possibly secondary schools.

Fear of wolves mounts

A number of mountain villages in the Beskydy mountains have a growing fear of wolves . Although there were believed to be no wolves in the region today there have been several cases of attacks on sheep recently. In the latest such attack a farmer lost eight sheep and wolves’ footprints were found all around the scene of the carnage. The wolves are believed to have crossed over from Slovakia and environmentalists suggest that the return of this threatened species in Europe is a sign of improving environmental conditions. Unless provoked wolves are known to avoid contact with human beings and state authorities do not seem overly concerned about their reappearance, but the locals are armed and weary.

Finally a look at the weather: the heat-wave in central Europe is expected to continue. Monday should bring clear skies, sunshine and day temps between 30 and 34 degs. C. We can expect heat related thunderstorms in the late afternoon or early evening. In connection with an increased number of heat-related health problems health authorities have requested the public, chronically ill and elderly people in particular, to exercise maximum caution, stay out of the sun, drink plenty of beverages and avoid heavy manual labor. Apparently it is a medical fact that women find it physically easier to cope with excessive heat than men . So ladies, pamper your men and enjoy the summer!