News of Radio Prague
Temelin back on line
The Temelin nuclear power plant is back on line, operating at full capacity following several days of repair work. The plant's operational reactor was re- connected to the main power grid on Saturday and gradually brought to 100% operation capacity for further tests. This has been described as a short trial run since, in approximately a week's time, the plant is to be closed down for a month of scheduled repair work. The Temelin nuclear power plant has been plagued by technical problems in recent months but its operator, the power utility CEZ, claims that this is a normal part of trial operation. Anti-nuclear activists insist it is a sign that the plant is not safe and are planning more anti-Temelin protest actions. A demonstration for the plant's closure is to take place at the Czech-Austrian border crossing Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste on February 23rd.
PM Zeman on official visit in Israel
The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman is on a two day official visit to Israel. Talks with Israeli leaders are overshadowed by a new surge of violence in the Middle East which has lowered hopes for an end to more than 16 months of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. During a meeting with the Czech Prime Minister the Israeli president Moshe Kacav said the international community, and especially the EU, should help to convince the Palestinian leader Jasir Arafat to stop the acts of terrorism. At a press briefing after the talks the Czech Prime Minister stressed that it is crucial to fight terrorists - not negotiate with them. The Czech head of Cabinet also met with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Saron, who expressed appreciation of his hard-line stand against a policy of appeasement with regard to terrorists.
Cabinet to debate new measures against extremism
The Czech Cabinet is to consider new measures against extremism. Social affairs minister Vladimir Spidla has been asked to outline a policy aimed at curbing the influence of extremist groups among the teenage population. According to experts teenagers from socially weaker families are especially vulnerable to the rhetoric and promises of extremist groups, and accept a racist or extremist outlook as an explanation for their own failure or life crisis. According to minister Spidla social workers should offer these young people a helping hand before they fall prey to an extremist movement. According to government figures some 6,000 teenagers in the Czech Republic support the skinhead movement, 4,000 support various anarchist groups.
Telicka in Washington
Czech deputy foreign minister Pavel Telicka is due to begin a four day working visit to the United States on Monday. His talks with US officials are expected to focus on the war against terrorism, cooperation within NATO and EU expansion. Preparations for the NATO summit in Prague this autumn are also expected to be on the agenda.
We can expect a cold night with partly cloudy to clear skies and temps dropping to minus 2 degs C. Monday may bring some drizzle, especially in Moravia, the eastern part of the country, and day temps between 4 and 9 degs C.