News of Radio Prague
Spidla starts coalition talks
The Chairman of the Social Democrats Vladimir Spidla, whose party won more than 30 percent of the vote in last weekend's parliamentary elections, has started coalition talks with the leaders of the centrist Christian Democrats and the liberal Freedom Union, which ran together in the elections. Leaders of the three parties are expected to discuss the future government set up as well as posts in the Lower House. Mr. Spidla expects the coalition talks to last for one to two months.
Tram collision in Pilsen
Sixteen people are reported to have been injured in a tram collision in the west Bohemian town of Pilsen on Tuesday morning. Officials say there were no casualties. The material damage is estimated at over 1 million crowns. An investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the accident.
Premysl Sobotka, a leading member of the centre right Civic Democratic Party which was defeated in last weekend's parliamentary elections has resigned from his post. Sobotka, who was on the party's executive board, said he was accepting personal responsibility for the party's poor showing in the elections.
Czech leaders pay homage to victims of the resistance movement
President Havel, government officials, war veterans and cultural figures on Tuesday attended a commemorative ceremony held in homage of seven victims of the Czechoslovak resistance movement. The ceremony took place at the Church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague where, sixty years ago today, seven parachutists, hunted down by the Nazis for the assassination of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heidrich, fought courageously against SS and Gestapo units before taking their own lives so as not to fall into enemy hands. Although it was followed by terrible reprisals, Heidrich's assassination is regarded as an important moment in the Czech resistance movement.
Indonesian president in Prague
The Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri who is in Prague on a three day visit has been meeting with Czech top officials. Following talks with President Havel on Tuesday she expressed interest in a big arms purchase for the Indonesian army and police. President Sukarnoputri is accompanied by a team of defense ministry experts who have started talks with Czech companies, among them Aero Vodochody on the purchase of an unspecified number of light military aircraft. Nothing has yet been settled, but according to the president of Aero Vodochody Antonin Jakubse it would be a billion dollar deal.
Central Europe is currently laboring under an intense heat wave expected to last until Friday. We can expect a warm and clear night with night temp at around 19 degs. Wednesday should dawn bright and sunny with afternoon highs expected to reach 34 degs C.