News of Radio Prague

Prodi: Enlargement on hold if Ireland ultimately rejects Nice Treaty

The European Commission President, Romano Prodi, told reporters on Friday that the Nice Treaty supporting EU enlargement would have to be set aside if Ireland should fail to find a way to ratify it. Speaking at a press conference after a two-day trip to Ireland, which recently rejected the treaty in a referendum, Mr Prodi confirmed the fear of many candidate countries seeking EU membership that the treaty would fall if Ireland ultimately rejected it. The Czech Republic is one of the front-runner candidates preparing for membership and Ireland's Foreign Minister, Brian Cowen, is expected to come to Prague next week to discuss the implications of the referendum, as well as the enlargement process in general with his Czech counterpart, Jan Kavan.

Klaus reacts to EU official's criticism

The Speaker of the Lower House, Vaclav Klaus told reporters that it was unfortunate that the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, has labelled him a populist politician. Speaking to the European Parliament on Thursday, Mr Verheugen said that any delay resulting from leading candidate countries caused by waiting for less prepared countries would only suit populist politicians who were trying to make anti-European capital. Mr Klaus said that a populist is one who bends with the wind, whereas he told journalists, bends against it.

Pithart in hospital with urinary infection

The Chairman of the Senate, Petr Pithart, is said to be suffering from an acute urinary tract infection. Mr. Pithart was taken to a Prague hospital with high fever on Thursday night, after returning from a three-day trip to Dublin, where he met with senior politicians to discuss the recent "no" vote from a referendum held in Ireland on the Nice Treaty on EU expansion. Mr Pithart was forced to cancel Sunday's meeting with the French Minister for European Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, and is expected to stay in hospital until Tuesday. Until his release, Mr Pithart's position in the Senate will be held by the first Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Premysl Sobotka.

5-year-old still missing

Some 100 police are still searching for a five year old girl who has been missing since Wednesday. Tereza Cermakova from the Central Bohemian town of Kladno disappeared whilst playing in a sand-pit at a Kladno housing estate. The police spent several hours searching the area including another nearby housing estate and several forests. They also went to several schools in the vicinity where they questioned teachers and schoolchildren. So far there has been no sign of the little girl and a special team of detectives has been put on the case to investigate her disappearance.

Weather forecast

And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Well, it looks like the raining season is here to stay as occasional showers are expected to prevail throughout the weekend. Friday night shall see overcast to clear skies with showers in places. Temperatures are to range between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius. Saturday is expected to be much the same with daytime temperatures ranging between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.