News Monday, SEPTEMBER 07th, 1998

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Radio Prague E-News date: September 7, 1998, 0900 UTC written/read by: Libor Kubik

These are the top Czech stories this hour, now the news in more detail, read by Libor Kubik.

PRAGUE-BLAST

Two foreign tourists were lightly injured on Sunday when a booby-trapped device exploded in a waste basket in Jilska Street in downtown Prague.

The Prague police said fragments of a metal pipe with explosives were found in a ceramic container. The blast also damaged a car parked nearby.

The two middle-aged tourists, from Spain and Holland, were treated for injuries in hospital and the police are carrying out an investigation.

Meanwhile, the condition of the 47-year-old man, who was badly burned in an explosion in Prague's Legerova Street last Thursday, remains serious.

The police say it seems likely that the man, a chemist with a passion for explosives, was to be blamed himself for his injuries.

He suffered burns to 50 percent of his body and had both legs amputated.

Two boxes of chemicals were found when the man's home was searched on Friday.

CZECH-POLITICS-DEBATES

Czech Civic Democrat Senator Milan Kondr has accused two parties of the emerging four-party right-of-centre coalition, opposed to the deal that enabled the forming of a one-party Social Democrat cabinet earlier this summer, of not being true rightists.

Senator Kondr said in Sunday's debate on private TV Prima that the Christian Democrats were a long shot from the right-wing approaches while the Freedom Union, formed by defectors from ex-premier Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party, was too young to sufficiently profile itself as a right-wing entity.

The two parties, together with the fledgling Civic Democratic Alliance and the Democratic Union, have recently taken steps to form what they insist will be an authentic, right-wing opposition against the ruling Social Democrats.

RIGHTWING-POLL

A poll just out shows that the new coalition could win up to 24 percent of the vote in the Senate by-elections, scheduled later this year.

But our correspondent says the clear majority would still go to the Social Democrats with 35 percent, and the ODS with 26 percent of the vote.

After June's parliamentary election, both parties signed an agreement which paved the way to forming the country's first left-of-centre government since 1990.

CZECH-GOVERNMENT-BUDGET

Following an apparently inconclusive government meeting on Friday, the cabinet of Prime Minister Milos Zeman will continue a debate this week on next year's state budget.

Deputy Premier Pavel Rychetsky told private TV Nova on Sunday that the draft budget envisages a 15-billion-crown deficit and cuts in government spending.

The Czech daily Pravo reported on Saturday that the cabinet meeting at Kolodeje Castle outside Prague had nearly ended in disarray, with several ministers threatening to resign.

The government must present its draft budget to parliament by the end of the month.

GERMAN-CZECH-POLISH

In Berlin on Sunday, the Sudeten German expellees' lobby group appealed to Poland and the Czech Republic to admit atrocities during the expulsion of ethnic Germans after World War Two.

The organisation described the expulsion of nearly 15 million Germans as a gross human rights violation.

The union on Sunday held its traditional "Tag der Heimat", or "Homeland Day" in Berlin. It said there no longer existed any excuse for the post-war expulsions.

Here in Prague, a poll indicated on Sunday that about a third of respondents believe that Czech-German relations would benefit from greater mutual tolerance between both nations.

CZECH-FAROES-SOCCER

Football -- and in the European championship group nine qualifier in Faroe Islands on Sunday, the Czech Republic beat the home side one goal to nil. The scorer was Vladmir Smicer.

CZECH-CANOEING

Canoeing -- and Czech Olympic champion Martin Doktor on Sunday crowned his performance at the World Speed Canoeing Championships in Szeged, Hungary, by winning the gold medal in the 200-metre event.

Another gold medal went to the Czech foursome Prochazka, Krivanek, Fuksa, Kozisek, also in the 200-metre heat.

CZECH-WEATHER

Finally, the weather report:

Monday will be another wet day in the Czech Republic, with daytime temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be also wetter than usual, but we should see daytime temperatures climb to between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius, and we are expecting nighttime lows to be around 10 degrees on both days.

And that's the end of the news.