News of Radio Prague
EU confirms enlargement on track at Seville summit
Leaders of the European Union reassured the Czech Republic and the other candidates for membership at an EU summit in Seville, Spain, on Saturday that eastward expansion was on track and would go ahead in 2004 despite an unresolved dispute over costly farm subsidies. A summit declaration said the EU was determined to conclude membership negotiations in December to have the accession treaties signed in the spring, 2003. The Czech Republic, whose Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Foreign Minister Jan Kavan represented the country in Seville, is expected to participate in elections to the European Parliament as a fully-fledged EU member in 2004.
Visegrad Group PMs to hold meeting on co-operation next week
On the sidelines of the EU summit in Seville, the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland - decided to meet next week to boost regional ties and discuss a joint position on EU membership as the four countries hold accession talks. According to Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessi, the first half of the meeting is to take place in the Hungarian town of Esztergom, after which it will move to the Slovak side of the Danube river, where Slovakia will take over the Visegrad Group's rotating presidency. Cooperation within the group reduced significantly after former right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban demanded the abolition of the post Second World War Benes decrees that stripped ethnic Hungarians of property in former Czechoslovakia. Links between the four countries, however, began to improve when Mr Orban was voted out of office in April.
Commemoration in Lezaky to mark 60th anniversary of Nazi massacre
Hundreds of people attended a memorial ceremony on Sunday on the site of Lezaky, one of the two Czech villages that the Nazis razed to the ground 60 years ago. In retaliation for the assassination of the Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, all the children in the village were transported to either concentration camps or resettled with German families whilst all adults were killed and Lezaky wiped off the map on June 24th 1942. The ceremony was attended by Social Democrat Chairman Vladimir Spidla, Senate Chairman Petr Pithart as well as visitors from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Canada. The two most important figures to remember the dead, however, were the sisters Marie and Jarmila Stulik - the only two inhabitants of Lezaky who survived. They were one and two and a half years old at the time.
More storms to hit country
After power cuts in several villages have been restored and police, fire-fighters, and volunteers have cleared all roads, more thunderstorms and rain are expected to hit the country on Sunday and Monday. Meteorologists, however, predict that none will be as damaging as the storms of last Friday that resulted in several injuries as well as damaged roofs and cars, fallen trees, flooded cellars, and power cuts. The country is also expected to be able to rest from the severe heatwave that has brought temperatures soaring into the mid 30s as the next few days will see them fall to the mid 20's.
And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Monday will be partially cloudy with isolated showers or thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures are expected to reduce significantly to reach a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius.