News of Radio Prague

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Kuehnl resigns as the Four-Party Coalition collapses

The leader of the opposition Four-Party Coalition, Karel Kuehnl, has resigned. The coalition effectively collapsed on Thursday when the Christian Democrats - who had threatened to expel the heavily indebted Civic Democratic Alliance - said that they would contest June's general elections with the Freedom Union-DEU alone. Mr Kuehnl, who is a member of the Freedom Union, said on Friday the two parties would have to seek a new form of co-operation.

Civic Democratic Alliance to run alone

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Civic Democratic Alliance, Michal Zantovsky, announced on Friday that the party was preparing to run alone in the elections. Mr Zantovsky said that the Four-Party Coaliton no longer existed. One of the Civic Democratic Alliance's senior members, former chairman Daniel Kroupa, announced on Friday that he was quitting the party. Mr Zantovsky said he regretted Mr Kroupa's decision.

No negotiations on Benes decrees - Spidla

Vladimir Spidla, deputy premier and leader of the governing Social Democrats, has said that under no circumstances would there be negotiations on the Benes decrees. Mr Spidla made the statement on Friday following the passing of a resolution in the Austrian parliament calling for the Austrian government to push to have the decrees abolished. The resolution is not legally binding for the Austrian government. The Benes decrees sanctioned the expulsion of Czechoslovakia's large German minority and the confiscation of their property after World War II.

Austrian Sudeten German group calls for return of property

A group of Sudeten Germans living in Austria has called not only for the abolition of the Benes decrees but also for the return of confiscated property. The group said on Friday that any joint Austrian-Czech declaration on the decrees would not be enough.

Zelezny's lawyer files complaint with Constitutional Court over detention

The lawyer for the head of TV Nova Vladimir Zelezny, Ales Rozehnal, has filed a complaint with the Consitutional Court over his detention. Mr Rozehnal was released on bail on Thursday after having been held in remand for almost three months on charges of attempting to cheat a creditor. Mr Rozehnal contends that his detention was unlawful.

Fighter jets should be paid for with money from privatisation - Tvrdik

The Czech Republic should pay for 24 Grippen fighter jets for the Czech Airforce with money raised in the privatisation process, the defence minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik said on Friday. Taking a loan to finance the planes would cost the country some 17 billion Czech crowns more due to interest repayments, Mr Tvrdik said.

Human Rights Council calls for dual citizenship

The government's Human Rights Council has called for more Czechs to be allowed to hold dual citizenship. Czechs living long-term in Slovakia who automatically lost their Czech citizenship when they applied for Slovak citizenship should be allowed to get their Czech citizenship back, the council's Veronika Pastrnakova said on Friday. She also said that Czechs who marry a foreigner should have the right to dual citizenship.

Record temperature in Prague for fifth day in row

For the fifth day in a row a new record temperature for Prague was set on Friday. The temperature at 2 o'clock in the afternoon was 12.9 degrees Celsius, three tenths of a degree higher than the previous record which was set in 1884. Meanwhile, bird watchers in the west Bohemian town of Rokycany have spotted the first starlings of the year. The birds have arrived early due to the unseasonally warm weather.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather forecast for the weekend. The unusually warm weather is set to continue with sunshine and temperatures as high as 15 degrees Celsius expected on Saturday. Sunday should also be quite sunny though there will be showers in places. Tempreatures should range from 12 to 16 degrees Celsius.