News Thursday, AUGUST 06th, 1998

Radio Prague E news Date: August 6, 1998 Written / read by: Alena Skodova

Cabinet's policy statement

The Czech cabinet has approved its policy statement, which it intends to submit to the House of Deputies and ask for a vote of confidence on August 18th. The programme manifesto will be immediately distributed to deputies and made public on the Internet on Thursday evening. Premier Milos Zeman told reporters that his cabinet's policy will concentrate above all on combating economic crime, making the capital market more transparent and speeding-up economic growth, while the foreign policy priorities will be the Czech republic's admission to the European Union and NATO. The government appointed Jiri Kolar, previously the chief of the South Bohemian police, a new police president. The ministers will discuss the fate of the nuclear power station in Temelin, whose construction has been opposed by many, including the Environment minister, at their session next week.

The president's health

President Vaclav Havel still has occasional heart irregularity and a fever after receiving electric shocks to correct a life-threatening heart problem, his doctors have said. Havel's condition has stabilised but he is still suffering from the occasional irregular heart beats that developed on Monday night, according to the coordinator of his medical team, Dr. Miroslav Cerbak. "The president's heart arhythmia continued, but did not have the seriousness of the previous day's complication. A diagnostic x-ray found a marginal improvement in the lungs. Nonetheless, a fever persists," said professor Cerbak. The president's heart problem is connected to the pneumonia he contracted after undergoing intestinal surgery on July the 26th.

Zeman - Germany

Premier Milos Zeman has refused to back down from controversial comments about about a group representing ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after WW II in the Czech-German discussion forum. He has told a press conference in Prague that the furore in Germany over his comments comparing the Sudeten German Landsmanschaft to extreme parties in the Czech Republic was based on a misinterpretation but should not damage Czech-German relations. The row has threatened to cloud relations between the two countries even before Zeman's Social democrat cabinet, which took office in July, wins a vote of confidence in its programme in parliament.


And finally, the weather report for Thursday: We expect clear skies in the morning, but cloudy later in the day. Daytime highs between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius, and only 17 degrees in the mountain areas.