News Tuesday, JULY 06th, 1999

Radio Prague E-News Date: July 6th, 1999

Hello and welcome to the programme. I’m DL and we begin as usual with a look at the main newsstories this hour

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail:

Opposition parties tell Freedom Union to cooperate or not make trouble

Leading opposition representatives have thrown a damper on the Freedom Union’s plans to try to remove the Social Democrat government from office. Both Christian Democrat vice-chairman Cyril Svoboda and Civic Democratic Party vice-chairman Ivan Langer described the plans as “senseless and negativistic” since there were at present no signs of a possible government coalition which could replace the Social Democrats’ minority government. This was a direct attack on the Freedom Union which has on several occasions in the past been courted as a third partner-in-coalition and has consistently rejected the offers. It has refused to join a three party coalition both with the Civic Democratic Party and the Social Democrats for alleged “serious policy differences”, effectively closing the door to such a deal to the Christian Democrats who have shown themselves willing to compromise. Without support from those two parties the Freedom Union will not be able to collect the necessary 50 signatures in Parliament which would allow it to re-open a debate on a no-confidence vote in the present administration.

Czech unit reaches Kosovo The Czech reconnaissance unit which is to operate within KFOR has reportedly arrived in northern Kosovo, where it is setting up camp near the village of Sebovac. The Czech unit, which is under British command in the northern sector, will fulfill classical reconnaissance tasks including monitoring of troop movements on its territory. The situation is said to be most dangerous along the border where there are reportedly many illegal crossings by armed troops. The troops are expected to be relieved after a six-month period.

Church ceremonies mark Cyril and Methodius holiday

Church ceremonies have been held across the Czech Republic to commemorate the legacy of Cyril and Methodius , Christian missionaries from Salonica who introduced the Slavonic alphabet and the Slavonic tongue as a liturgical language to the Great Moravian Empire in 863. The two brothers, whose teachings took root and left a mark on all of Eastern Europe were proclaimed patron saints of Europe in 1981 and in their honour this day /July 5th/ is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

Kachyna says: I’m not bowing out yet

One of the most prominent Czech film directors Karel Kachyna received an award for his lifelong contribution to the world of cinematography at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival . Although the award was for “lifelong merit” the seventy five year old Kachyna joked about wanting a piece of the action for a while longer and expressed his love of this form of art. Czech film makers today were in dire financial straights, he said , but he was glad to see that there was plenty of enthusiasm among the young generation . Kachyna has directed some of the best Czech films, but many of those he made in the 60’s were banned by the communist regime, among them A carriage to Vienna, The night of the Bride and The ear. Later he directed among others, A meeting in July, Sisters and The Golden Eels. Another special award for lifelong merit in the film industry is to go to Italian film director Franco Zefirrelli.

And finally a look at the weather: Tuesday is expected to be another stifling hot day with not a cloud in the sky and temps between 30 and 34 degs C. Those waiting for some relief from the heat will be glad to know that cooler weather is on its way and should reach Czech territory on Wednesday. We are told to expect a significant drop in day temp to between 18 and 22 degs and scattered rain showers.