News of Radio Prague

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Spidla rejects idea of forming coalition with Communists or Civic Democrats

The leader of the governing Social Democrats, Vladimir Spidla, said his party would not be prepared to form a coalition with the Communist Party or the Civic Democrats after the upcoming general elections. Speaking on a television debate programme with the leader of the Civic Democrats, Vaclav Klaus, Mr Spidla said he would consider forming a minority government if necessary. With the elections due to take place on June 14 and 15, opinion polls are putting the Social Democrats a few points behind the Civic Democrats.

Svoboda not to appear in court before December

And the first finance minister in the current Social Democrat government, Ivo Svoboda, is not likely to appear in court on embezzlement charges before November, the judge in the case has said. Mr Svoboda and former Social Democrat head economist Barbora Snopkova, face charges of embezzling almost twenty million crowns from a pram-manufacturing company, before Mr Svoboda served as finance minister, from March 1997 to April 1999.

Austrian parties criticise Drabova for statements on Temelin's second reactor

The Austrian governing-coalition Freedom Party and opposition Social Democrats have criticised statements made by the head of the Czech Nuclear Safety Office, Dana Drabova. Mrs Drabova said in a newspaper interview that when the second reactor at the Czech Temelin nuclear power station goes into test operation, faults could be discovered and the reactor could be quickly shut down. A series of faults have seen the first reactor at the plant shut down on numerous occasions since the launch of the plant began in October 2000. Many in neighbouring Austria and Germany are opposed to Temelin, which they say is unsafe.

Police break up Bulgarian gang accused of trafficking in women

Police in the Chomutov region in the northwest of the country have broken up a gang accused of trafficking in women and forcing women into prostitution. Police arrested 21 members of the gang, who are from Bulgaria. The police say the gang pimped around 50 women, sold women to other gangs and also murdered women who refused to comply with their demands.

Weather

Monday should be another pleasant day here in the Czech Republic, with largely clear skies and temperatures of up to 24 degrees Celsius.