News Tuesday, AUGUST 29th, 2000

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik, and we start the program with a brief news bulletin. First the headlines:

Those were the headlines, now the news in more detail.

Greenpeace says Temelin report a fake

The Czech branch of the international environmentalist organisation Greenpeace has lodged a complaint to the state prosecutor for what they claim are criminal acts of forging documents and putting public health at risk by an unknown offender.

The complaint relates to the reportedly wrong installation of steam pipes to the reactor vessels of the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant, which is to become operational soon.

Greenpeace said they had warned government officials and the state nuclear safety watchdog organisation already last week. Greenpeace have also asked the Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, to present the case on Tuesday to the National Security Council, of which he is chairman.

Fire destroys former Prague brewery

Fire brigades from all over Prague went into action late on Monday to put out one of the worst fires the city has witnessed in a decade.

A former brewery in the Vinohrady residential area near the Czech Radio building was completely gutted, several cars parked in the compound were damaged and around ten people had to be evacuated. There were no casualties.

The authorities said on Tuesday that the compound was owned by a private firm which had planned a sweeping renovation of the dilapidated buildings.

EU parliament head sees EU enlargement soon

The European Parliament's President Nicole Fontaine says she expects the European Union to accept new members from Eastern Europe by 2004. She said in Warsaw that the new members should take part in the elections to the European Parliament in four years' time.

However, she didn't elaborate on how many new countries could join by that date.

The EU launched accession talks with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Cyprus two years ago.

But Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has said in Bratislava that the enlargement of the European Union still requires reforms that have yet to be carried out.

Austria's People's Party supports Czech EU entry

Austria's governing People's Party says the Czech Republic's admission to the EU should not be made conditional on the abrogation of the decrees under which hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War Two.

The party's parliamentary boss Andreas Khol said on Monday he was also opposed to attaching similar strings to Slovenia -- another contender for early membership of the European Union. He said, however, that Austria would do its best to have the expulsion decrees revoked on a bilateral level even before both nations enter the Union.

Austria's Defence Minister Herbert Scheibner said at the weekend that his ultra-right Freedom party was resolutely against admitting the Czech Republic and Slovenia to the EU unless the decrees are declared null and void.

Prague reopens precious gardens

The City of Prague has reopened two renovated gardens on the Prague Castle Hill. The Kolowrat and Small Fuerstenberg gardens are considered gems of the city's baroque architecture.

The project of renovating and reopening long-neglected historical gardens of Prague has been continuing under the auspices of the British Crown Prince Charles, a connoisseur of Europe's cultural heritage and a great admirer of Prague, which he has visited.

Globalisation opponents block ancient bridge

Opponents of globalisation have symbolically blocked Prague's medieval Charles Bridge across the river Vltava to protest against the policies pursued by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The protest, held on Monday, was aimed against the two institutions' demand that loan-receiving countries adjust their state budgets so that they comply with IMF and World Bank terms. The protesters argued that the adjustments as required by both institutions have adverse impact on the population of the recipient nations.

The protesters staged a happening during which a fictitious transnational firm bought the Charles Bridge and started collecting entrance fees from passers-by.

The IMF and the World Bank will hold their annual session here in Prague in less than one month's time.

Environmentalists meet in Prague

Environmentalists from all around the world have been meeting in Prague at an international conference discussing the significance of natural riches in big cities and their effective protection.

Our correspondent says that one of the main missions of the conference is to stress the significance of educating environmentally-conscious students.

Czech-Polish scrap over Poland's EU future sends one to hospital

Polish radio reported on Monday that an argument over Poland's role in the European Union between a group of Czechs and Poles had ended in several injuries and one man being sent to hospital.

A group of eight Czech Harley-Davidson motorcyclists attacked three Poles after trading insults over the role Poland will play in the EU after gaining membership.

Police declined to specify the exact nature of the argument but confirmed that one young Pole required hospitalisation after the incident at Szypliszki in eastern Poland.

Soccer -- Hamburg pay record fee for Czech player

Football -- and Czech Champions Sparta Prague have sold their defender Milan Fukal to Germany's Hamburg SV for 2.8 million U.S. dollars.

Sparta's spokesman says the fee for the 25-year-old right wingback is the highest ever paid by Hamburg, who qualified for the Champions League this year after 17 years of absence from Europe's top competitions.

Fukal, who has made nine appearances in the national squad, can play for Hamburg only from the second group stage of the Champions League because he played for Sparta in the qualification phase.

Czech weather forecast

And finally, a look at the weather here in the Czech Republic.

Tuesday will be a fair day but scattered showers and thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. After the morning lows between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius, we expect daytime temperatures in the range from 20 to 24 degrees.

On Wednesday, a low pressure area will bring us more precipitation, early morning lows between eight and 123 degrees Celsius and afternoon highs between 20 and 24 degrees.

Thursday's morning lows will be a notch higher, between 10 and 14 Celsius. Daytime highs from 19 to 23 degrees.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.