News of Radio Prague

Main opposition party rejects state budget

The senior opposition Civic Democratic Party has said it would not support the government's draft state budget for 2002. The Civic Democrat shadow minister of finance, Vlastimil Tlusty said his party was convinced that the state budget revenues were seriously overestimated. The Civic Democrats have also criticised the fact that the government has done nothing to cut mandatory expenditures. The main opposition Civic Democrats and the minority ruling Social Democratic Party are bound by a controversial power-sharing pact which defines the terms under which the Civic Democrats will support the ruling party. One of the conditions was that state budget deficit will gradually be decreased so that the overall public finance deficit meets the Maastricht criteria in 2003.

Helsinki Committee expects UK immigration in Prague to end soon

The Czech Helsinki Committee expects the British immigration controls in place at Prague's Ruzyne airport to be abolished within one or two weeks. The director of the Helsinki Committee in Prague, Jana Chrzova, told reporters that the number of asylum seekers, mainly of Roma origin, decreases at the end of summer, as has been the case over the past few years. Britain re-introduced immigration controls at the airport almost two weeks ago to prevent what it described as the abuse of its asylum system by some Czech citizens. During the first wave in early August, British immigration officers refused some 120 people entry to the UK. The figure has fallen to less than 20 since last Monday. The controls have been repeatedly criticised by human rights groups for being racially biased, since the vast majority of those refused were members of the Roma minority.

Adoption of environmental legislation to cost $10 billion

The Czech environment ministry estimates that the adoption of EU environmental legislation in the Czech Republic will cost 350 billion CZK, or nearly 10 billion USD. This cost will be spread over the next 10 years and will be borne by both the government, local administration bodies and private companies. The largest amount of money - about one third of the total - will have to be spent on waste water treatment facilities. The Czech Republic has negotiated a transition period for the full implementation of the stringent regulations before 2010. According to environment ministry representatives, if the EU regulations were to take immediate effect, many Czech firms would go bankrupt.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a cloudy and rainy day with the highest daytime temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius. Sunday should be also cloudy with rain showers and even lower temperatures - afternoon highs are expected to range from 11 to 15 degrees Celsius.