News Sunday, SEPTEMBER 03th, 2000

By Nick Carey

Ecologists block border in protest over Temelin

Ecologists on Saturday blocked three border crossings on the Czech-Austrian border in protest over the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia, which is due to go on line within the next two weeks. More than two thousand protestors from Upper Austria blocked the roads at the crossings with tractors, and handed out leaflets protesting over Temelin and nuclear power in general. The protest comes just days after the Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, threatened to block the Czech Republic's entry into the EU if concerns over safety standards at Temelin are not resolved. In a fresh public opinion poll published in the Austrian daily Kleinen Zeitung on Saturday, 92 percent of those asked said that the Czech Republic's entry to the EU should be made conditional upon safety standards at Temelin.

On a related note, Austrian efforts this week to gain support for its opposition to Temelin have not met with much success. The Austrian government has appealed to Germany support its approach to Temelin, but a group of German MPs visiting the Czech Republic's pavilion at the EXPO 2000 fair in Hanover said that the nuclear power plant would not be an issue for Czech EU membership. The Austrian government has also called for an urgent debate in the European Parliament on the issue, but this was rejected outright on Friday.

G7 summit may move to Berlin

According to the Germany weekly Der Spiegel, the upcoming G7 summit in Prague may be moved to Berlin. The summit is due to take place on September 23rd, a few days prior to the IMF/World Bank meetings in Prague, and according to Der Spiegel, it may be moved due to safety concerns. As up to twenty thousand protestors are expected in Prague for the meetings, the Czech police are increasingly uneasy about the summit, the weekly states. The German Finance Ministry was unable to confirm the information.

On a related note, the Czech police force has denied allegations that officers will be poorly equipped for the IMF/World Bank meetings, and that they will have to buy equipment using their own money. According to a police spokesperson, police officers will be fully equipped within a few days.

Committee against reburial of remains at medieval Jewish cemetery

The Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe has spoken out against the reburial of remains at a medieval Jewish cemetery in Prague. The remains were discovered on the construction site for the new headquarters of the Czech insurance company Ceska Pojistovna. As part of a deal between the Prague Jewish community, the insurance company and the Czech government, the remains are due to be reburied on the site. According to the committee, the remains should not be reburied on the site, as this would breach Jewish laws. Jews may only be buried, the committee said, on sites blessed for the purpose. As this is not the case at the medieval site, the committee proposes that the remains be reburied elsewhere.

And finally, the weather forecast.

The weather should on Sunday in the Czech Republic will see a ridge of low pressure coming in from the West, bringing overcast skies with rain showers expected in places. The highest daytime temperatures should reach twenty degrees Celsius. Temperatures during the night should reach a maximum of twelve degrees Celsius. The weather is due to continue much the same on Monday and Tuesday. I'm Nick Carey, and that's the end of the news.