News of Radio Prague

Zeman envisages 6% economic growth in 2003

The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman foresees a growth potential of the Czech economy of around 6 percent. In Mr Zeman's opinion, economic growth could accelerate to this rate in 2003 or 2004 and continue developing at a similar pace. Speaking at an economic conference on Thursday, Mr Zeman said he envisaged 4-percent economic growth this year and 5 percent in 2002.

European Commission worried about Czech macroeconomic development

The European Commission has expressed concern about the widening deficit in the Czech state budget and the balance of payments. The Commission sees the trend as a consequence of structural problems and warns that should it continue, it will reflect in the Commission's regular progress report due to be released in November.

Fagan rattles sabre

Austrian nuclear energy experts and anti-nuclear activists have again claimed that the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power station is unsafe. The U.S. lawyer Ed Fagan, who is working for a group of Austrian anti-nuclear organizations, has said he is considering filing a lawsuit against the Czech Republic, either at a Czech or European court. However he failed to specify whom he would sue, the government or the plant's operators, the electricity company CEZ. However, Austrian officials have distanced themselves from Fagan's activities, saying he was acting on behalf of a private organization.

Czech journalist awarded in U.S. for Chechnya documentary

Czech journalist Jaromir Setina has received an award from the John Hopkins University in Washington for a documentary film called the Dark Side of the World. The film depicts the daily lives of civilians in Grozny, the war-torn capital of Chechnya which is occupied by Russian troops. Setina's documentary came first in a competition of 230 films from 38 countries. Film critics say the film is a remarkable achievement, because the Russian authorities tried to prevent journalists from entering the encircled city.

Communists accuse Social Democrats of distracting voters

The Czech Communist Party has accused the ruling Social Democratic Party of deliberately shifting its rhetoric to the left to attract traditional Communist voters and marginalize the Communist Party in a concerted effort with right-of-center parties. Communist leader Miroslav Grebenicek also accused the Social Democrats of unscrupulously stealing parts of the Communists' manifesto. He also described the everyday policies of the Social Democrat government as right-wing, despite the socialist rhetoric.

Kavan visits Cyprus

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan is visiting Cyprus. The main item on his agenda are talks with top ranking-Cypriot representatives on EU accession, mutual trade and multilateral issues. Both the Czech republic and Cyprus are on the list of six EU candidates slated for joining in the first wave of enlargement, expected to take place in 2004 at the latest. Czech and Cypriot officials see considerable potential for further development of mutual trade as the two countries have not yet signed agreements on prevention of double taxation and investment protection.

New born baby murdered in Hodonin

Czech police is investigating a murder of a newborn baby girl who was found in a dustbin outside a hospital in the town of Hodonin, Southern Moravia. The police said the baby was born healthy several days ago. The cause of her death will be established after an autopsy.

Czech - Austrian trade flourishes

The Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce has announced that trade between the Czech Republic and Austria grew in the year 2000. The Chamber said that the disputes around the controversial Czech nuclear power station in Temelin did not strain trade relations between the two neighbours. According to available data, Austrian exports to the Czech Republic rose by 17 percent and Czech exports by 18 percent.

Czech weather forecast

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a cloudy day on Friday with scattered showers and afternoon highs ranging from 5 to 9 degrees Celsius. The weekend should be cloudy with occasional showers, night-time lows are expected to drop to zero, and the highest daytime temperatures should not exceed 9 degrees Celsius.