News Sunday, JUNE 18th, 2000

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

Those were the main points and now the news in more detail.

Havel welcomes forced administration of IPB

Czech president Vaclav Havel has welcomed the Czech National Bank's decision to impose forced administration on the troubled IPB bank. He described it as one of the most important and courageous decisions in recent years. He repeated that he had been worried lately by developments in the banking sector. President Havel said the forced administration of one of the largest Czech banks could help restore public confidence in the government and other state institutions.

IPB customers continue withdrawing money IPB customers continued withdrawing their savings from the bank on Saturday. IPB branches said they had enough cash to serve everyone, However, some branches have asked for preventive police protection.

MPs call for interior minister to resign over IPB police action

Several members of the Czech Parliament have called on the Minister of Interior, Stanislav Gross, to resign following the police operation which accompanied Friday's decision by the Central Bank. The MPs claim that the law on the police was broken by the deployment of a special anti-terrorist unit, which escorted the administrator appointed by the Czech National Bank into IPB headquarters. They have also called for a parliamentary investigation into the affair. Minister Gross has denied using excessive force and said that the paragraph of the law referred to by the MPs did not apply to the IPB case.

Czechs out of game at EURO 2000

The Czech football team have lost their last chance of proceeding to the quarter-finals of the EURO 2000 championships after they were defeated two-one by France on Friday and the Netherlands beat Denmark later in the day. The Czechs will now fight Denmark for third place in group D. German coach Berti Vogts described the match between the Czech Republic and France as excellent with world-class performances on both sides. Vogts said the Czechs were unlucky to be placed in group D with teams such as the Netherlands and France, and said they would have gone on to the quarter finals had they been placed in any of the other groups.

President Vaclav Havel home from hospital

President Vaclav Havel was released from hospital on Saturday, two weeks after he underwent a hernia operation. Doctors say the president will need another week of convalescence before he can return to his duties. The operation was the latest in a series of health problems president Havel has suffered over the past three years, which have provoked a public debate on whether he should stand down before his term expires in 2003.

Czech weather report

And finally, the weather forecast. A high pressure area will be moving across central Europe on Sunday. The skies should remain clear to partially cloudy, afternoon highs should range from 21 to 25 degrees Celsius. And a brief outlook for the beginning of next week - it should still be partially cloudy but warmer, with highest daytime temperatures up to 32 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.