News Sunday, JULY 12th, 1998

Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here's the news. First the headlines.

Only half of those who voted for the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats approve of the so-called opposition agreement between the two parties.

The Civic Democrats will in no case vote for a deficit budget as proposed by the Social Democrats.

and President Havel has commemorated his late wife Olga who would have been sixty five on the 11th of July.

These are the main points and now the news in more detail.

Voters divided over opposition agreement

Only half of those who voted for the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats approve of the so-called opposition agreement the two parties concluded. This is the result of a survey conducted by the polling agency STEM. According to the poll, more than one third of the two parties' supporters do not agree with the deal.

ODS would not say yes to deficit budget

The Civic Democratic Party will in no case vote for a deficit state budget, Civic Democrat leader in the Chamber of Deputies, Vlastimil Tlusty, told reporters. He said a balanced budget was one of the main points of the party's economic policy and rejected allegations that the party would approve a deficit budget proposed by the Social Democrats.

Zeman approves bank privatisation

Social Democrat leader Milos Zeman, who is the most likely next premier, is quoted in Mlada Fronta Dnes as saying that he agrees with privatisation of the banking sector, but with a qualification: before the state-owned banks are sold to strategic partners, their investment activities must be separated from commercial banking. Zeman said his government will build on the experience and information collected by the previous cabinet.

SocDem will not give up their programme

At a press conference on Friday, Milos Zeman announced that the Social Democrats would not yield to Civic Democrat demands when compiling a government manifesto, and would incorporate into it whole parts of the party's election programme. And he went on to assure journalists that the Social Democrats wouldn't consult with the ODS when choosing their candidates for ministers. Civic Democrat deputy leader Ivan Langer said the ODS, as an opposition party, does not want to have any say in the process of forming the cabinet.

Church property may not be returned - Ruml

Civic Democrat and Social Democrat leaders Vaclav Klaus and Milos Zeman may stop church property restitutions, Freedom Union chairman Jan Ruml warned. Ruml, who considers the deal between the two strongest parties a coalition agreement, said both the two leaders had always opposed church property restitutions.

Singapore president visits Czechland

Singaporean president Ong Teng Cheong is continuing his first stay in the Czech Republic, a four day visit. This is one of the rare journeys that the Singaporean president has made to Europe, and is therefore considered by the Czech presidential office as evidence of good bilateral relations. President Ong Teng Cheong met with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Havel. They agreed that each viewed the other's country as a gateway to South Asian and Central European markets, respectively.

Havel commemorates Olga

President Havel on Saturday paid tribute to his first wife Olga who would have been sixty five on the 11th of July. The ;ate Olga Havlova was a very popular first lady among Czech citizens. During the communist regime, Olga Havlova was a dissident activist and a Charter 77 signatory. After the 1989 revolution she devoted herself to charity activities.

Czech weather report

And finally, a quick look at the weather. We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with afternoon highs between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.