News of Radio Prague

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Continuing political fallout over Temelin

This week's war of words between Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Austria's far-right Governor of Carinthia Jorg Haider, concerning the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant, is continuing to provoke reactions from Austria's political elite. On Thursday Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel urged both countries to find a more dignified style of coexistence which would mark Austrian-Czech relations into the future, before and after the Czech Republic's accession to the EU. Schuessel's remarks come at a time when Austria's far-right Freedom Party, a junior partner in the country's governing coalition, is running a public petition urging an Austrian veto of Czech accession to the EU, unless the Czech Temelin nuclear power plant is closed down. The results of the petition, no matter how they turn out, will not be legally binding for the Austrian government, though the issue may be debated in parliament.

Trade Unions at Czech TV threaten strike

The trade unions at Czech TV, the Czech Republic's nationwide public broadcasting station, are threatening to launch a strike unless the station's directorate accepts a new collective contract which would guarantee employees 13th and 14th monthly wages, and would increase current employee wages across the board. Czech TV's director, Jiri Balvin, who met with some 400 CT employees on Thursday, called the union demands "absurd", and said the station was incapable of raising wages at this time. Meanwhile union leaders are saying they will approach the Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs to help mediate the dispute, or they will go on strike in April.

Chinese dissident to visit Prague

Well-known Chinese dissident Wang Tan is set to visit Prague this weekend as part of an organized tour to inform the Czech public on apparent human rights violations in China. Mr Tan was one of the students at the head of the so-called Beijing Spring of 1989, which saw pro-democracy demonstrations engulf Tiananmen Square, demonstrations which were soon crushed by the Chinese armed forces. Mr Tan was one of thirty activists to stand trial for his actions, and spent six years in jail, before being expelled by China; he now lives in the United States. His visit to Prague will include meeting Czech politicians Jan Ruml and Petr Pithart, as well as the representatives of the Office of the President.

Police searching for room-mate of TB victim

Police are searching for the room-mate of a 36-year-old man who died of tuberculosis at Christmas, who could face charges of endangering life through neglect. The victim's room-mate apparently persuaded a doctor that an ambulance was not needed to transport the TB sufferer to hospital, saying he would take the patient by car. But he then failed to do so, and police are now investigating whether his actions were intentional. Police are also investigating whether or not the doctor was guilty of neglect.

Daily PRAVO on IMF/World Bank conference: items worth 3.5 million crowns went missing

The Czech daily Pravo has reported that some of the men and women from the high world of finance who attended the International Monetary Fund and World Bank conference in Prague sixteen months ago, may have been responsible for the disappearance of office and technical items, estimated to be worth 3.5 million crowns, or 97, 000 dollars U.S.. The daily quotes security officials at the Congress Center where the conference was held, and says police have been unable to track down anyone responsible.

Weather

Finally a look at the weather. Thursday evening will be cloudy with a possibility of scattered snow fall. Temperatures will fall to lows of around -6 degrees Celsius.