News Sunday, DECEMBER 12th, 1999

Hello and a very warm welcome to Radio Prague. I´m Rob Cameron, first the news headlines.

Those were the headlines, now for the news in more detail.

Skromach calls on Civic Democrats to clarify support for budget

The deputy chairman of the ruling Social Democrats, Zdenek Skromach, has called on the main opposition Civic Democrats to clarify their support for the 2000 budget. The government´s second draft budget was defeated on Wednesday, after the Civic Democrats, who keep the minority Social Democrat government afloat under a unique power-sharing pact, withdrew their support. Mr Skromach also said a highly critical letter to Prime Minister Zeman from Civic Democrat leader Vaclav Klaus indicated the days of the power-sharing agreement could be numbered.

Police searching for author of "Romany pogrom" leaflet

Police in the town of Prostejov are hunting for the author of a leaflet calling on citizens of the town to take part in a pogrom against a settlement of Romanies believed to be responsible for an outbreak of hepatitis. The leaflets, entitled "For a Clean Prostejov", recently appeared in the town centre and one was sent to the town´s mayor. The leaflets call on citizens to volunteer for an attack on the Romany settlement, as well a hunt for Roma children. Police say so far no-one has responded to the leaflets.

STEM: 70 percent back "Thank You, Now Leave" petition

A new opinion poll released by the STEM agency claims 70 percent of the public are in favour of the "Thank You, Now Leave" petition, which calls for Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Civic Democrat leader Vaclav Klaus to step down, and for fresh elections to be held. Far less people, however, were in favour of the organisers of the protest forming a regular political party. The "Thank You, Now Leave" petition has been signed by some 150,000 people. The organisers are meeting on Saturday to decide whether to enter mainstream political life.

Government to discuss legalising prostitution

The government is to discuss legalising prostitution. The Interior Minister Vaclav Grulich is to submit draft legislation to the cabinet on Monday which would see prostitutes registered and subject to regular medical checks. Mr Grulich says regulation would outlaw street prostitution, reduce crime and bring in millions of crowns in tax revenues.

Civic Democrat M.P. involved in serious road accident

The Civic Democrat M.P. Libor Jezek has been involved in a serious road accident near Prague. Mr Jezek is said to have a caused a collision on Friday afternoon in which one person was seriously injured. Police said Mr Jezek, who escaped unhurt, had apparently been drinking before the accident.


And I´ll end as usual with a quick look at Sunday´s weather forecast. And it will be a mild and cloudy day in the Czech Republic, with rain in places. Daytime temperatures will reach 10 degrees Celsius in the daytime, falling to zero at night.