News Thursday, APRIL 16th, 1998

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Radio Prague E news Date: April 16,1998 Written / read by: Alena Skodova

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm AS and we start as usual with a short bulletin of domestic news:

Those were the main points and now the news in detail:

Havel - hospital

President Vaclav Havel's condition has been described as stable, after an emergency surgery in Austria. Havel has had a calm night with only low temperatures and almost no pain, and he has been removed from intensive care to a post-operative unit. However, the life-threatening stage is far from over, said Ernst Bodner, head of surgery at Innsbruck University hospital. Havel's condition immediately after the Tuesday operation was "extraordinarily good" but is is possible that post- operative complications could develop in the next few days, Bodner told the Austrian APA agency. Ilja Kotik, the president's personal physician, also described Havel's condition as stable. The president was disconnected from a respirator on Wednesday morning. Head of the presidential doctors' team Miroslav Cerbak, who cares for Havel in Prague, was also in Innsbruck, and Mrs. Dagmar Havlova, who is at her husband's bedside, thanked the Austrian surgeons for carrying out the complicated operation. Histology has shown that the president's illness was not caused by a malignant tumour.

House of deputies - NATO

The House of deputies has approved the Czech republic's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, paving the way for the country to become one of the first former Soviet satellites to join the defence alliance. All 16 NATO countries and the applicants' own parliaments must first agree to the expansion. The Czech Foreign ministry said it believed that the decision of the House of Deputies would be perceived positively in those members countries whose parliaments have not yet debated the protocol on the Czech republic joining NATO. Foreign minister Jaroslav Sedivy described the outcome of the vote as "a good decision - the best guarantee for our security. In the Senate, the former ruling coalition has a two thirds majority and all three parties have declared unconditional support for NATO membership. From his hospital bed in Innsbruck, president Havel highly praised the House of deputies' decision to approve our membership in NATO, and so did the NATO headquarters in Brussles, while German Foreign minister Klaus Kinkel said that the Czech republic and Germany have now a common vision of the future.

Nazi victims - compensation

Czech Nazi victims will be soon paid social financial benefits provided by the Czech-German Future Fund within the framework of a project which the Fund's administrative council discussed at the beginning of March. The money will be sent to some 6 400 Czech people, and the sums range from 29 to 47 thousand crowns according to the time they spent in a prison or a concentration camp.

Sedivy in the US

Czech premier Josef Tosovsky is on a working visit to the United States, where he will represent the Czech republic at the regular spring session of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC. After a working lunch with the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Tosovsky stated with satisfaction that Mrs.Albright highly praised the voting in the Czech lower house on Wednesday, which approved the Czech Republic's admission to NATO. Tosovsky stressed that all the democratic forces have given their "yes" to the approval, and that not even the greatest optimists believed this could be achieved. In an interview for the CNN TV channel Mr.Tosovsky confirmed the fact that he was not interested to stay in politics after the early parliamentary elections in June.

Weather

And finally a quick look at today's weather: it will be cloudy to overcast in the Czech republic today, with rain showers coming from the West. Afternoon hights between 11 and 13 degrees Celsius.