News of Radio Prague


PM Spidla says cabinet will put forward referendum on EU constitution

The Chamber of Deputies has been holding a special session to discuss the planned constitution for the European Union, days after an inter-governmental conference on the document began in Rome. Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said on Tuesday that his cabinet would put forward a bill allowing for a referendum on the proposed constitution. Meanwhile, MP Jan Zahradil of the opposition Civic Democrats, which called the debate, said the EU was already functioning well without a constitution. The Czech Republic and nine other countries are to become members of the EU next May.

Court clears far-left activist of propagating communism

The district court in Sumperk, north Moravia, has cleared far-left activist David Pecha of propagating communism. Judge Pavlina Pelclova said on Tuesday that Mr Pecha, who is 26, had exercised his right of freedom of expression when he advocated the violent reinstatement of the communist system in an article in a far-left magazine. Mr Pecha was, however, found guilty of a second charge of slandering former secret service agent Vladimir Hucin, and received a six-month suspended sentence.

Out-of-court settlement for woman denied job for being Romany

A woman has received 200,000 crowns from a company in Hradec Kralove which stated in a labour office document that it had turned her down for a job because she was a Romany. A lawyer for Marcela Zupkova said on Tuesday the company Akyma had agreed on the compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

President Klaus starts three-day official visit to Hungary

President Vaclav Klaus has met his Hungarian counterpart Ferenc Madl at the start of a three-day official visit to Hungary. Mr Klaus is also expected to hold talks with the Hungarian prime minister, Peter Medgyessy and other senior officials.

Road safety operation to be repeated after record number of road deaths

A large-scale police operation aimed at improving road safety is to be repeated within the next month, the interior minister, Stanislav Gross, said on Tuesday. Last week over 350,000 vehicles were stopped during an operation entitled Krystof, or Christopher, after the patron saint of travellers. There have been record numbers of deaths on Czech roads in recent months.

Tests to determine whether man died of new variant CJD

Doctors at the Brno Teaching Hospital are awaiting the results of tests to ascertain whether a patient at the hospital died of new variant Creutzfeld Jakob's disease, believed to be linked to BSE in cows. The results of the test, which are being carried out in Prague, should be known in three weeks. There have been four cases of BSE in the Czech Republic.

No changes in level of corruption in Czech Republic, says Transparency International

There has been no change in the level of corruption in the Czech Republic, says the group Transparency International, which launched its 2003 corruption perceptions index on Tuesday. The index ranks 133 countries according to the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. The Czech Republic was ranked 54th, along with Bulgaria and Brazil.

Summer weather blamed for fall in grain, potato, sugar beet harvests

This year's grain harvest was 15 percent lower than last year's yield, according to estimates by the Czech Statistical Office released on Tuesday. The potato harvest and the sugar beet harvest were both down by almost 20 percent. This year's poor results are being blamed on weather during the summer, when it was extremely hot for long periods and there were occasional heavy rainfalls.


Wednesday is expected to be cloudy with rain in places. The maximum temperature should be 12 degrees Celsius.