News Sunday, SEPTEMBER 12th, 1999

Radio Prague E News Written - Read by: Dita Asiedu Date: 12.9.99

Hello and a very warm welcome to the programme. I'm Dita Asiedu, first we start with a look at the main headlines of the day:

You are tuned to Radio Prague. Those were the headlines, now let's take a look at the news in full:

A Commission looking into the issue of settling property between the Czech and Slovak Republics, left over from when the two states formed the Czechoslovak Federation, discussed on Saturday various proposals from both sides aimed at resolving the problem. Deputy Premiers representing both governments were present and although they refused to reveal any details to journalists, both indicated that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Czech Minister Pavel Mertlik said that although the proposals are more or less the same, Prague and Bratislava still hold opposing views on some issues. In the meantime, his counterpart, Ivan Miklos told reporters that hopefully, an answer should soon be found to finally dividing former joint property and ending the problematic affair. The talks have seen both governments breathe a sigh of relief since it is an issue which has dogged Czech - Slovak relations for the last few years. The main stumbling block is the Czech National bank's claim to 29 billion crowns, dating back to when the money was held in the vaults of the Czechoslovak State bank. Bratislava has never recognized this and the Czech National Bank still has the Slovak gold. Mertlik said on Saturday that once this is resolved the two neighbouring states are expected to sign an agreement outlining their relationship based on the outcome. According to the Czech deputy Premier, an agreement should be reached by the end of autumn after a series of top level meetings, the first of which is to take place in America. As a result, Mertlik's parting words to Miklos were: "See you in Washington".

A Prague newspaper editor, who placed an advert in his paper earlier in the week, offering 5 million crowns for the removal of Chairman of the Czech Parliament and leader of the opposition Vaclav Klaus, is unlikely to have to explain himself in court. An investigator said on Saturday, that after speaking to the editor Josef Kudlacek and a private television station which filmed a controversial report on the advert, police have come to the conclusion that there is very little evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed. Kudlacek himself said that the advert calls for Klaus's removal from politics, not his assassination. This comes after NOVA television station released a recorded telephone conversation between a journalists and the editor, which suggested to viewers that the reward was for Klaus's assassination. Kudlacek has in the meantime told reporters that the conversation was distorted and taken out of context. He says he intends to sue the television station.

Leaders of 22 Baltic and Black Sea states who gathered at Ukraine's resort town of Yalta pledged On Saturday to build a Europe without division lines. The summit's final statement said that the participants had agreed to co-operate in preventing conflicts in the region, fighting terrorism, illegal migration, arms and drug trafficking. On Saturday, Czech Deputy Premier Egon Lansky was present representing the Czech Republic along with high ranking NATO officials and members of the Council of Europe. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told reporters that Yalta the place which once separated has now turned into a place that unites. Ukraine's neighbours Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have joined NATO, while other east European states including ex-Soviet Estonia, hope soon to join the European Union, which maintains rigid visa rules for non - member states like the Ukraine. The summit was held in the same palace where in 1945 Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill effectively agreed to divide Europe into two hostile blocs.

And we end as usual with a look at the weather:

A ridge of high pressure moving towards the Czech Republic from Scandinavia, means there will be more of Saturday's hot sunny weather over the remainder of the weekend. Skies will be clear and temperatures are expected to reach 28 degrees Celsius.

I'm Dita Asiedu and that's the end of the news.