News Sunday, JULY 05th, 1998

Date: July 5, 1998 Written / read by: Alena Skodova

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm AS and here's the news:

Social democrat government?

At a Saturday session of the Central Executive Committee of the Social democratic party, which won the early parliamentary elections two weeks ago, chairman Milos Zeman called on his party colleagues to form a one- colour Social democrat government. He admitted though, that the existence of such a cabinet could be complicated and that the right might try to overthrow it and call early elections within two years. Zeman further said that he and ODS chairman Vaclav Klaus were not discussing a grand coalition but an open and public agreement, under which the right-wing ODS would tolerate the left-of-centre Social democrat cabinet for four years. "Although these negotiations have been moving forward significantly, there still exists the threat of a right- wing majority coalition comprised of the ODS, the Christian democrats and the Freedom Union," Zeman told the session.

Czech-German forum

The Coordination council of the Czech-German discussion forum, established last February after the signing of the Czech-German declaration, is meeting on Saturday in the West Bohemian city of Plzen. The participants heard two speeches - by the Czech coordinator Pavel Tigrid and his German colleague, state minister Anton Pfeifer. However, the main thing on the agenda of this closed meeting was a three-hour long general debate. The council also elected a four-member commission whose task will be preparing working themes that will be discussed at their second session. It will be held in October or November in Dresden, Germany, and by then its participants will already be at work in individual commissions. The current session in Plzen is being attended by 32 representatives of the German Coordination Council, including the head of the Sudeten Landsmanschaft Franz Neubauer, the German ambassador to the Czech republic and other guests.

Czech countrymen in Prague

The Week of Czech Countrymen, a jubilee venture, organized on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University, ends on Saturday in Prague. The last discussion held was taking up the revival of activities and cooperation among the Czech communities abroad. The Week of Czech countrymen included a scientific symposium on the problem of exile - attended by representatives of the Czech academic community -, panel discussions of Czech economists, physicians and entrepreneurs living abroad as well as a conference on Czech communities outside the republic, whose main topic was the relationship between the Czech republic and Czech countrymen in various countries. Within the framework of the venture, Czech Foreign minister Jaroslav Sedivy awarded several individuals and organizations the Gratias Agit prize for putting forward a positive image of the Czech republic abroad.

Novotna wins Wimbledon

And finally fantastic news from the world of sports: the Czech republic's Jana Novotna, a top-ranked tennis player for many years but without a major title, has won at Wimbledon. On Saturday, she defeated Natalie Tauziat of France in the finals, 6-4, 7-6.