News Monday, JUNE 07th, 1999

Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here's the news. First the headlines.

These are the main points and now the news in more detail.

Politicians Praise Police

Czech politicians have praised the police for the way they handled the Global Street Party which took place in Prague on Saturday. At the same time, they condemned an attack on the US embassy by the activists. The originally peaceful gathering of several thousand people protesting against economic globalisation, ended in rioting and clashes with police.

Minister Jaroslav Basta sees the police action as professional and reasonable. In his opinion it is time to ammend the legislation on public gatherings. Former interior minister Cyril Svoboda agrees with Basta. In his opinion, the current principle under which the authorities must be informed in advance of every public gathering , should be retained, but there should be more severe punishment for the organizers if the event gets out of control.

Govt to re-consider structure of agricultural subsidies

The government will asses agricultural subsidies , worth some 3.5 billion crowns, in order to ascertain whether the money is being effectively used, the Premier said. He said that the government had increased spending on agriculture by 20 percent this year despite the fact that the state budget expenditures had grown by less. "The current government is pursuing an agricultural policy similar to that of the the European Union. However, the EU can afford more than the Czech Republic, Zeman pointed out. On the other hand, Zeman criticised Czech farmers for their latest demonstration. He said that it was not fair to demand that the cabinet set minimum prices on sensitive commodities considerably higher than prices on world markets, and at the same time to demand that the state Market Regulation Fund buy their commodities for these prices.

Zeman expects record unemployment

Premier Milos Zeman expects the unemployment rate to exceed 10 percent at the end of this year. Currently, unemployment in the Czech Republic stands at 8.3 percent. In Zeman's opinion, the unemployment rate will reach the level common in the European Union, that is just under twelve percent. He expects the rise in the unemployment rate to stop in the second half of next year.

Zelezny to build own TV service

Former director of commercial TV Nova, Vladimir Zelezny, wants to establish his own broadcasting company. Zelezny, who holds the licence for running TV Nova, has recently been dismissed from the post of Nova's director by its majority owner, CME. Zelezny told media that he was seeking a bank loan to built his own broadcasting facility. He also said that he might offer jobs to some of the current employees of Nova TV.

Klaus visits drug smugglers in jail

The Speaker of the lower house of Czech parliament, Vaclav Klaus, has visited two Czech citizens who are serving a fifty- year jail sentence in Thailand for drug smuggling. Klaus said he wanted to see what conditions the two Czechs were living in and whether it would be possible for them to serve the remainder of their sentences in a Czech prison.

Govt to discuss situation of Czech science

At its session this week, the cabinet will discuss the situation of scientific research. According to a report on scientific research in the Czech Republic, there has been a lack of money and young expertise. The amount of money the Czech Republic spends on scientific research annually has remained at approximately the same level for six or seven years. While the European Union spends in average 1.8 percent of the GDP on science and research, the Czech Republic devotes only about 1.2 percent of GDP.

Czech weather report

And finally, a brief look at the weather. We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with scattered showers, afternoon highs should range from 22 to 26 degrees Celsius. And a brief outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday: it should be much the same as on Monday, cloudy with occasional showers, with highest daytime temperatures between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.