News Monday, MAY 04th, 1998

Radio Prague E news Date: May 4th, 1998 Written / read by: Alena Skodova

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

Jaroslav Sedivy starts a visit to three Latin American countries

Czech Foreign minister Jaroslav Sedivy starts on Monday a two-day official visit to Argentina, where he will also be received by Argentinian president Carlos Saul Menem. During the morning breakfast, the Czech Foreign minister will talk to Argentinian and Czech entreprenuers. The main objective of Sedivy's visit to South America is the improvement of mutual economic relations. Sedivy will also visit Uruguay and Brazil. On Monday, the Czech foreign minister will meet with his Argentinian counterpart Guid di Tella, and the two men will discuss integration processes on both continents. In the evening, Sedivy will give a lecture at the Argentinian council for international relations.

Czech president Vaclav Havel is doing well

Czech president Vaclav Havel, hospitalized at the University hospital in Innsbruck since undergoing emergency surgery on his large intestine, has been doing fine. Havel's doctors said it's difficult for them to keep their prominent patient calm, as the president wants to start his routine daily regime as soon as possible. They also announced that on Monday they intend to remove a tube from Havel's throat that facilitated his breathing. Professor Bodner has stressed that the president is recovering according to plan and that all the tests he has undergone have shown satisfactory results. The Czech president will probably return back home on Wednesday. On Monday, photographers will have their first chance to take pictures of the Czech president, and on the same day his Austrian counterpart, Thomas Klestil, will visit Mr. Havel in the hospital. Also on Monday, Mr.Havel will sign orders for the promotion of seven Czech generals in front of TV cameras.

Karel Kuhnl has spoken against a proposed Social democrat amendment to the law on screening

Trade and Industry minister Karel Kuhnl from the Freedom Union thinks that if passed, the Social democrat proposal for an amendment to the law on screening could complicate prosecution for crimes of communism. He said this in a regular Sunday debate on the private TV station, NOVA. According to the amendment, a person who was cleared by the court of collaborating with the state secret police should be viewed as if he or she were not listed in the STB files at all. In Kuhnl's opinion, the verdict has already said this, which renders the amendment unnecessary. Moreover, this amendment could lead to communist secret police materials being destroyed - said minister Kuhnl.

Statement of the Circle of Friends of Czech-German Understanding

The Circle of Friends of Czech-German Understanding, which associates Germans who used to live in Bohemia and Moravia and are not members of the Sudeten German landsmanschaft, has issued a statement to members of the coordination council of the Czech-German Discussion Forum which says that the Landsmanschaft represents only a small part of the Sudeten Germans. We can say, says the statement, that many people who belong to the generation of those who experienced WWII, agree - despite their cruel fate - with the Czech-German declaration. "What is most important for us is the idea of reconciliation and constructive understanding," says the statement, signed by the chairman of the Circle, Rudolf Kuchler. "We are sorry that the Czech mass media have given wide coverage to the Landsmanschaft's activities, but have been silent about the activities of other groups which are even more important, since they are interested in real reconcilitation without preliminary conditions," Rudolf Kuchler told the CTK news agency.

The weather

It will be cloudy to overcast in the Czech Republic today, with occasional rain showers and thunder storms. Afternoon highs around 17 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.