News Wednesday, JUNE 03th, 1998
Radio Prague E-News, June 3, 1998, Vladimir Tax
Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here's the news. First the headlines.
These are the main points and now the news in more detail.
The Czech foreign ministry has expressed concern over Pakistani nuclear tests. Foreign ministry spokesman Rudolf Hykl told CTK that the ministry was worried about the danger of a nuclear arms race between Pakistan and India, which would escalate tension in the region and pose a threat to global security.
A Pakistani diplomat who was invited to the Czech ministry of foreign affairs explained that his country had only reacted to nuclear tests executed by neighbouring India.
The Czech Republic has joined many countries around the world in condemning nuclear tests by the two South Asian rivals.
Van der Pas does not rule out tabling Sudeten German question
The European Commission's main negotiator with candidate countries, Nikolaus van der Pas, said on Tuesday he could not rule out the Sudeten German issue being raised during EU accession talks with the Czech Republic.
He said that Copenhagen criteria for the admission of new members to the EU contained such demands as respect for human rights and the rights of minorities. However, he said it was up to EU member states, and mainly Germany, whether they wanted to open the issue of post-war events during the talks.
Romanies hand petition against Romany wall to Usti mayor
A group of Romanies in the town of Usti nad Labem handed a petition to city mayor Ladislav Hruska protesting against the planned construction of a wall which the local authorities want to build to separate a Romany community from other citizens.
The Romanies have asked the local council members, who stood behind the decision, to resign immediately. They also said that they would ask law enforcement bodies to prosecute all those involved in the decision.
Usti nad Labem mayor Ladislav Hruska accepted the petition, but expressed doubt that the Romany leaders knew the situation in the location where the wall is to be erected.
Pensioners sue justice minister
The pensioners' party has filed a lawsuit against justice minister Vlasta Parkanova who said in a recent televised debate that the pensioners were extremists because realizing their visions could lead to economic collapse and generation conflict.
Pensioners' party leader Eduard Kremlicka claimed at a press conference on Tuesday that media are leading a campaign against the party by publishing misleading information and groundless allegations. He said that was why the pensioners will not publish the names of those who authored their political manifesto and have yet to reach retirement age.
Lux / coalition
Christian Democrat leader Josef Lux confirmed on Tuesday that his party saw forming a coalition with the Social Democrats and the Freedom Union as the most realistic solution after the elections, although chairmen of the two other parties, Milos Zeman and Jan Ruml have ruled it out.
Lux is convinced that such a coalition would be possible because it will be necessary to form a strong cabinet and that there was no other likely option.
The Czech cabinet wants to focus on laying the groundwork for stable economic growth and on strengthening the Czech economy's ability to compete with regard to the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union. Premier Tosovsky said this at a managers' forum on Tuesday.
Tosovsky warned against attempts to stimulate economic growth by running a deficit budget, referring to the Social Democratic Party's economic plans. He also pointed out that the Czech Republic cannot afford to build an extensive social welfare system, like those typical of West European countries.
President / defence
President and supreme commander of the Czech army Vaclav Havel met on Tuesday with defence minister Michal Lobkowicz and Czech army chief of staff Jiri Sedivy to discuss the situation in the Czech army and issues connected with the Czech Republic's accession to NATO.
They agreed that one of the most important things to do was for the army to regain its lost reputation. The three official would also like the next government to increase the military budget by one tenth of a percent of the GDP a year.
Minister Lobkowicz and general Sedivy informed president Havel about the establishment of the State Security Council, whose task is to manage the Czech Republic's communication with NATO bodies and should meet for the first time by the end of June.
Hard words against NATO at Pan-Slavonic Congress rally
Criticism of NATO and "complimenting the Germans" were heard from some 200 participants in the five-day Pan-Slavonic Congress which began in Prague on Tuesday.
The group had, on the other hand, words of praise for the Slavonic Congress in 1848, that was aimed against Pan-Germanism and led in the long run to the liberation of the Slavonic nations.
The organisers regretted that the presidential office had distanced itself from the congress, despite its previously friendly attitude. The contemporary Czech political representation has a negative attitude as it suspects the Pan-Slavonic congress of being conducted by communists.
Czech weather report
And finally, the weather. We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with highest daytime temperatures between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius. And a brief outlook for Thursday and Friday: both days promise to be partially cloudy, with afternoon highs up to 30 degrees Celsius.
And that's the end of the news.