News Sunday, NOVEMBER 08th, 1998

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Welcome to the programme. Those were the main points, now the news in full, read by Alena Skodova:

Czech president Vaclav Havel was on a one-day visit to Slovakia on Saturday. Although he was invited by four non-governmental organizations, Havel was the first foreign head of state to meet in Bratislava with members of the new Slovak government and parliament following their parliamentary elections in September. The Czech president laid wreaths at the grave of Alexander Dubcek, a leading figure of the Prague Spring reform movement back in 1968 who became chairman of the Czechoslovak parliament following the Velvet Revolution in 1989. He then met with former Slovak president Michal Kovac. Havel also held talks with Slovak premier Mikulas Dzurinda, with four vice- premiers and with speaker of parliament Jozef Migas, mainly about Czech- Slovak relations now that the former opposition has taken power in the country. President Havel was last in Slovakia in January of this year, attending a meeting of nine Central European presidents.

During his one-day visit to Prague, German deputy Foreign minister Gunter Verheugen assured Czech vice-premier Egon Lansky that Germany was going to fulfill its commitment and support the Czech Republic's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. The German guest said that the Czech Republic's admission to the European Union was in the interest of both states. He added that Germany's idea is to set up a general timetable that would inform the candidate countries when to expect their admission to the European Union. Each of them will know it can become an EU member after having fulfilled all conditions necessary for entering the Union, Verheugen explained.

An Islamic terrorist has recently shown interest in Radio Free Europe's broadcasts to Iraq and Iran from Prague. This information was leaked from the cabinet, and Saturday's issue of Lidove Noviny says it has been confirmed by the Security Information Service and the Interior Ministry. Interior ministry spokesman Jan Decker said appropriate security measures had been taken by the police. The leakage of this information can only have a negative impact on the activities of the secret service, which was monitoring the terrorist's movements and trying to identify other extremists on Czech territory, Lidove Noviny pointed out.