News of Radio Prague

Austria adopts resolution to reserve right to re-open energy chapter

The Austrian government has adopted a resolution which reserves the right to re-open the energy chapter at any time during the Czech Republic's accession talks with the EU. The resolution was adopted after protest from the minor coalition Freedom Party at an agreement signed between Prague and Vienna in Brussels last month. Under the agreement, Prague agreed to adopt stricter safety measures at the Temelin nuclear power plant and Vienna promised not to hinder the Czech Republic's energy talks with the European Union. Freedom Party Chairman and Vice-Chancellor Susanne Riess-Passer said that any agreement on Temelin made on behalf of Austria should be made by both coalition parties and not just the senior coalition People's Party. Austria's Foreign Minister, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, is expected to present Austria's resolution to the EU on Monday.

Stormy scenes in lower house over EU speech by Klaus

There were stormy scenes in the Czech lower house on Friday morning during a debate about a speech made by the opposition Civic Democrats leader Vaclav Klaus in Brussels on Wednesday. Mr Klaus said in the speech that the European Union should consider halting the process of European integration. During the debate on Friday Lubomir Zaoralek of the governing Social Democrats accused Mr. Klaus of causing fear of the EU and used other strong words which he later retracted. Mr. Klaus said Mr. Zaoralek ought to be ashamed of himself and - as chairman of the Chamber - halted the session for an hour to let tempers cool.

US says new government should decide on purchase of supersonic jets

Members of the Czech Republic's minor opposition Freedom Union (US) have said that any decision to buy new supersonic jets for the Czech air force should be taken by the next government, and not the present minority Social Democrat cabinet. Speaking to journalists after a national party meeting in North Bohemia, Freedom Union leader Hana Marvanova said her party did not believe the Social Democrats were capable of making the right decision. She said the ruling party would not be able to fully discuss the security and financial issues involved in the purchase in the little time they had left before next year's elections. The Freedom Union says a majority government should make that decision.

US asks former communist not to stand for election

And staying with the Freedom Union's national party meeting. Mrs Marvanova also told reporters that she had asked one of the candidates for next year's parliamentary elections to step down. She said Richard Novak, a former member of the Communist Party, could not be a candidate as the Freedom Union (US), part of the opposition Four-Party Coalition, had agreed with its coalition partner, the Democrat Union, that no former communists would be allowed to stand for election.

UMTS mobile network auction ends

The mobile phone operators RadioMobil and Eurotel have both won licences to operate third generation or UMTS mobile phone networks. RadioMobil is to pay 3.86 billion crowns, while Eurotel will pay 3.54 billion. They were the only two participants in the auction which had a starting price of three and a half billion crowns. mobiles


And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Saturday night will be cloudy with snow showers in some areas. Night-time temperatures will range between be minus five to minus ten degrees Celsius. Sunday will be cloudy with snow showers and temperatures between minus three and plus one degrees Celsius.