News of Radio Prague

Czech PM meets US president

US President George W. Bush received Czech Premier Milos Zeman in the White House on Friday. The agenda of their 15-minute meeting included anti-terrorism struggle and the NATO summit due to take place in Prague in 2002. Both politicians declined to provide more details about their meeting to media.

The Czech Republic repeatedly declared its readiness to actively participate in the fight against global terrorism. So far, it has provided an anti-chemical unit and a civilian aircraft to transport personnel and cargo between allies in Europe, and has also offered to provide a special force unit.

Second version of state budget passed in first reading

The Lower House of Czech Parliament has approved the second version of the government draft state budget for 2002 in the first reading. The budget includes a deficit of 46 billion CZK, revenues are estimated at 690 billion. The House rejected the first version of the state budget in mid-October and asked the government to rework it, criticising mainly a large deficit and unrealistic revenue expectations. The final vote on the state budget is expected before the end of the year. The proposal was supported by the ruling Social Democrats and the main opposition Civic Democrats, who are bound by a controversial power-sharing pact. Some of the other opposition parties as well as independent economic analysts claim that the changes the government made in the second version are mainly cosmetic.

Austrian Freedom Party threatens to veto Czech EU membership

Austria's ruling right-wing Freedom Party warned on Friday that the Czech Republic's membership of the European Union will be vetoed unless Prague is willing to consider closing down its nuclear power station at Temelin. Party leader, Vice-Chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer, said there was very little likelihood of the Freedom Party agreeing to a provisional conclusion of the energy chapter of Czech EU membership negotiations. Riess-Passer warned the Czechs that being barred from the E.U. would be far more expensive for them than switching off Temelin which is located some 60 kilometres off the Czech border with nuclear-free Austria.

British immigration controls at Ruzyne airport renewed

Britain has renewed its immigrations controls at Prague's Ruzyne airport. According to the spokesman of the British embassy in Prague, Zbynek Havranek, the checks are random and temporary. Britain introduced immigration controls at the Prague airport in July and abolished them in September. The reason was an alleged abuse of the British asylum system by a growing number of Czech citizens. The measure was heavily criticised by human rights groups for being racially biased, as the vast majority of those refused entry to the UK were members of the Roma minority.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a partially cloudy day with the highest daytime temperatures between zero and 5 degrees Celsius.