News of Radio Prague
Czechs want USA to lift visa in exchange for Afghan mission
Several deputies for the ruling Social Democrats demand that the USA lift the visa requirements for Czechs in exchange for Prague sending military troops to Afghanistan, some Czech newspapers have reported. The deputies reportedly want to push Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda to convey the request to U.S. representatives, arguing that if the Czech Republic sends its soldiers to a combat mission, it should gain something in exchange. The U.S. embassy in Prague said however that although Washington highly esteems the Czech activity in fighting terrorism, the U.S. visa policy has nothing to do with it. The Czech lower house is to decide on sending 120 special troops to Afghanistan in February.
EP election likely to be held in mid-June
The Czech Republic's first elections to the European Parliament will be probably take place on June 11 and 12, and political parties will be required to submit their lists of candidates by April 6. Many parties have already approved their slates or at least agreed on their election leaders. President Vaclav Klaus has to set the EP election date in the first half of March at the latest, according to a decision of the EU Council. According to a recent opinion poll, just a little over a half of Czechs are willing to go to the polls and two thirds believe the Czech Republic should be represented in the European Parliament by independent personalities rather than members of political parties. Czechs will have 24 seats in the 732-seat European parliament after European Union enlargement in May.
Young man found dead in metro tunnel
A 27-year old man was found dead in a tunnel of Prague metro line A on Sunday. The severed body lay about a hundred metres from a station, apparently ran over by at least one train. The police said they knew the identity of the man and that they were working to find out how he got in the tunnel and establish the cause of death. This is the second tragic accident in the metro since the beginning of this year. Several people die in Prague metro every year, often in suicide attempts.
We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with occasional snow showers. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 5 to 1 degrees Celsius below zero.