News of Radio Prague

Britain confirms re-introduction of immigration controls

The British Foreign Office has confirmed that Britain has decided to re-introduce immigration controls at Prague's Ruzyne airport, to prevent what it describes as the abuse of its asylum system by some Czech citizens. The exact date for reintroducing the controls has not yet been decided. The Czech government gave Britain the go-ahead for the measures on Wednesday. Britain considers the Czech Republic as a safe country whose citizens have no reason to apply for asylum in other countries under international agreements.

Opposition angry over government decision

Meanwhile, opposition parties sharply condemned the Czech cabinet's approval of the British immigration controls. The leader of the senior opposition Civic Democrats and speaker of the Lower House, Vaclav Klaus, said that the government should not yield to British pressure. Mr Klaus said the problems stemmed from Britain's inability to tackle problems with its asylum system. Representatives of the Four-Party Coalition said they considered the immigration measures ineffective and humiliating. They said the Czech government had totally failed to defend the interests of Czech citizens.

BSE threat: second infected cow in Czech Republic

The BSE crisis staff and the Central Infection Commission have been working intensively to establish the cause of the second confirmed case of BSE or mad-cow disease in the Czech Republic. The authorities order the slaughtering of four cows from the same herd as the infected cow at a private farm in Svetnov in Moravia. If they test positive for BSE, all cows older or younger than 12 months than the infected animal will be liquidated. Experts suspect that the cow had been infected by contaminated food imported from abroad.

Privatisation of Radiokom can go ahead

The Ministry of Finance has said the way is now clear for the privatisation of the Czech Republic's wireless telecommunications operator, Ceske Radiokomunikace. The government is planning to sell its 51-percent stake in the company to a strategic investor in the coming months. The only potential investor is a consortium of Tele Danmark and Deutsche Bank. The consortium has been leading exclusive negotiations with the Czech government since April when it was the only bidder to present a complete offer. However, the cabinet asked it to increase the offered price from 225 million USD to 300 million. Tele Danmark already holds a 21-percent stake in Ceske Radiokomunikace.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. On Friday, weather in the Czech republic will be influenced by a high-pressure area from the North-East. The skies should be mostly clear, with the chance of showers and cloudy weather in places. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. Saturday and Sunday should be partially cloudy with afternoon highs up to 30 degrees Celsius.