News Tuesday, OCTOBER 06th, 1998

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm Alena Skodova and we start with a bulletin of domestic news:

NATO - Yugoslavia - Czech Republic

In connection with the possibility of NATO military airstrikes against Yugoslavia, Czech defence ministery spokesman Milan Repka has told the CTK news agency that the North Atlantic Alliance is not at present counting on Czech participation in the action. The Czech army, however, is prepared to send a field hospital to Kosovo. Mr.Repka also recalled the words of Czech Defence minister Vladimir Vetchy who said at a recent meeting of NATO and associate member countries' defence ministers in Vilamura in Portugal, that the Czech Republic prefers a peaceful solution of the conflict. If diplomatic efforts prove futile, we are prepared to support other solutions, within our means, Mr.Repka said, adding that possible Czech participation in a military action in Kosovo would have to be approved by both chambers of Parliament.

Czech entrepreneur defecting

Daniel Gladis, the head of the leading Czech brokerage firm Atlantic, has said he resigned his position and left the Czech Republic after being kidnapped last week with his daughter. The 30-year old Gladis, a well-known figure on the Czech capital market, told reporters over the telephone that four men "attacked and kidnapped him" and his three-year- old daughter as he drove her to kindergarten last Tuesday in the city of Brno. The kidnappers released Gladis but took his child away, demanding a 10 million crown ransom. Gladis said the kidnappers released his daughter later on Tuesday, but declined to say whether he paid the ransom.

Sula - resignation

Head of the government comission for the protection of economic interests, Jan Sula, has resigned of this institution, which will be repsonsible for the Social democrat cabinet's operation called Clean Hands. Sula said he was backing down in the face of repeated threats made to him and his family. Cabinet spokesman Libor Roucek has told newspeople there are two potential condidates for the post, but declined to tell who they were. He said, however, that the future head of the comission will be known after the cabinet's session on Wendesday.

Zeman - sacking ministers

Premier Milos Zeman has denied media allegations that he intends to sack some of his ministers. According to Lidove noviny daily, the cabinet members in question are Finance minister Ivo Svoboda, Trade and Industry minister Miroslav Gregr and Minister for the Local development Jaromir Cisar. "I insist that the information concerning my alledged plans to fire Cabinet ministers, brought by Lidove noviny, is an absolute lie," Zeman told the CTK news agency speaking via the cabinet's press department.

Czech Foreign minister in Luxembourg

Czech Foreign minister Jan Kavan will today hold talks in Luxembourg with his European counterparts on concerted efforts in the protection of the environment and combating organized crime. The European foreign ministers' negotiations will be concentrated among other things on fighting child pornography and illegal migration. Also the present tense situation in the troubled province of Kosovo and the enlargement of the European Union will be on the agenda.

Havel - parliament

President Vaclav Havel intends to consult with Parliament's leadership all the bills, which are to be submitted for debate at its upcoming session, before it gets underway. Havel's meeting on Tuesday with the speaker and deputy speaker of parliament will be the first since last June's parliamentary elections. According to presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek president Havel also wants to meet members of the new parliamentary bodies, their encounter taking the form of an "afternoon coffee party".

IMF in Washington

Finance minister Ivo Svoboda, who will head the Czech delegation at the upcoming annual session of the International Monetary Fund and the World bank in Washington, has had talks with IMF representatives and Finance ministers of Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. The Vice-premier in charge of economic matters Pavel Mertlik, and the Czech National Bank governor Josef Tosovsky will also represent the Czech Republic at the session, due to start on Tuesday. Svoboda reassured the IMF's representatives that nothing stands in the way of the next session of these universally significant organizations in the year 2000 being held in Prague.

And that's the end of the news.