News Tuesday, OCTOBER 26th, 1999

Hello and a very warm welcome from Radio Prague. I´m Rob Cameron, first the news headlines.

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

Langer insists "super coalition" talks to continue

The deputy chairman of the opposition Civic Democrats Ivan Langer has reiterated his party´s commitment to the formation of a "super coalition" - consisting of all the parliamentary parties except the Communists. Mr Langer said that the Civic Democrats would continue to strive for the formation of a rainbow coalition, despite the rejection of the idea by all of the other parties concerned. The Civic Democrats proposed the coalition to replace the current minority Social Democrat government, which has ruled for 15 months under a unique power sharing agreement with the Civic Democrats. Critics say the agreement is stifling the political atmosphere and preventing progress towards membership of the European Union.

Czech steel giants to form consortium

The Czech Republic´s three largest steel-makers have signed a preliminary agreement paving the way for the creation of a steel consortium. Representatives of Nova hut, Trinecke zelezarny and Vitkovice steelworks signed the agreement in the presence of the Czech Premier Milos Zeman on Monday. The aim of the consortium will be to co-ordinate economic development and investment strategy. Nova hut and Vitkovice are controlled by the state, while Trinecke zelezarny was privatised in 1996.

Czech insurers refuse to cover "Millennium Bug" losses

The Czech Insurers´ Association has announced that the country´s insurance companies will not cover any potential losses incurred by the so-called "Millennium Bug." The Association, which represents over 30 insurance companies, said that the Millennium Bug was a "foreseeable risk", and therefore not covered by insurance. Computer analysts say that many computers could crash on January 1st, because older programmes or systems will fail to recognise the year 2000. A spokesman for the Association pointed out that fellow insurers around the world were also refusing to insure against the Millennium Bug.

Home Office announces fall in number of Roma asylum-seekers

The British Home Office has announced a fall in the number of Roma asylum-seekers arriving from the Czech Republic. A total of 195 Roma families applied for asylum in September, compared to 255 in August. Some 1,240 Roma families applied for asylum in the first nine months of this year, double the number from the same period last year. The sharp increase in Roma asylum-seekers this summer led to renewed fears that Britain would re-impose visas for Czech citizens. However the British authorities reaffirmed on Monday that London was not considering such a move, but would continue to monitor the situation closely. Czech Roma say they are subject to widespread racial discrimination. The authorities say they are mostly economic migrants.

Academy to choose Czech entry for 2000 Oscars

The Academy of Film and Television is due to announce which film will represent the Czech Republic at next year´s Academy Awards in Hollywood. The three short-listed entries are Pelisky - a comedy set in the years preceding the Soviet invasion, Vsichni moji blizci - the true story of an Englishman who saved Jewish children from the Nazis, and the bittersweet comedy Navrat Idiota. The successful entry will be announced by the academy on Wednesday.


And finally a quick look at Tuesday´s weather. It will be a mostly cloudy day with isolated showers in places. Daytime temperatures will reach a maximum of 16 degrees Celsius, falling to five degrees at night.

I'm Rob Cameron and that's the end of the news.