News Wednesday, NOVEMBER 04th, 1998

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Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Vladimir Tax and here is the news.

These are the main points and now the news in detail.

European Commission satisfied with Czech government programme

The European Commission has praised the policy statement of the current Czech Social Democrat cabinet, saying it clearly focused on the integration into the European Union. However, the EU official in charge of relations with the Czech Republic, Willem Aldershof, said that Prague has only achieved scant progress since last year's assessment.

Aldershof said Prague was lagging behind in the reform and upgrading of state administration, the judiciary, solutions to the Romany issue and in harmonising legislation with the EU.

Spacek confirms that Havel wants to allow Zilk to see files

Czech President Vaclav Havel is to invite former Viennese Mayor Helmut Zilk to Prague, so that Zilk can see the files which allegedly support accusations that he collaborated with the Czechoslovak secret police, presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek told CTK. He added, though, that the Interior Ministry would have to give its approval first. President Havel recently decided not to honour Zilk with a state award, after the allegations, which first appeared in the German media, were later confirmed by, Vaclav Benda, the former head of the Czech Office for the Investigation and Documentation of the Crimes of Communism.

Spanish socialists say CSSD-ODS agreement is inspiring

The Spanish opposition Socialist party sees the agreement between the ruling Czech Social Dmeocrats and main opposition Civic Democrats as an inspiration to them. Chairman of the Socialist Worker's Party, Joaquin Almunia, said after meeting Czech Premier Milos Zeman that such an agreement was definitely worthy of attention, although at the moment, it was not possible in Spain due to the different political climate.

Havel not going to Poland for health reasons

Health reasons forced President Vaclav Havel to limit the number of planned trips abroad. He has subsequently excused himself from attending a Central and Eastern Europe heads of state meeting in Warsaw on the occassion of the 80th anniversary of Polish independence,

Czechs want to cooperate with Iraq - Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry today stressed Tuesday that the Czech Republic still retained a real interest in healthy Czech-Iraqi relations and economic cooperation. The Czech Republic was and still is interested in investing in Iraq the moment the international political situation allows the country to, the Foreign Ministry press department told CTK. It was reacting to Iraq's warning against a worsening of mutual relations due to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts to Iraq from the Czech Republic which began on Friday.

Baghdad warned Prague against continuing the "anti-Iraqi" broadcasts, saying that they could damage any future economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Father of coupon privatisation was a KGB mole -- Irish TV

Viktor Kozeny, a Czech-Irish financier could be stripped of his Irish citizenship he acquired in 1995, on charges that he may have been a Soviet communist secret police agent, as reported by Irish Television and the weekly magazine Euro. Irish Television claimed that Kozeny collaborated with the Soviet intelligence service KGB in the 1980s. Kozeny helped to promote the coupon privatisation scheme in the Czech Republic in early 1990's and became notorious for his stock market speculations.

Slovak defmin visits Czech Rep.

Slovak defence minister Pavol Kanis has arrived in Prague for talks on military cooperation between the two neighbouring countries and coordination of their effort to join NATO. The Slovak minister is to meet with Czech president Vaclav Havel, premier Zeman, defence minister Vladimir Vetchy and other high-ranking state officials. Kanis is the first Slovak minister to visit the Czech Republic since the parliamentary elections in Slovakia earlier this year.

Soccer

Soccer: Italian team, Bologna, beat Slavia Prague 2-0 in their UEFA Cup second round, second leg match on Tuesday. The scorers were Giuseppe Signori and Massino Cappioli.

Czech weather forecast

And finally, the weather forecast. We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with scattered showers, highest daytime temperatures should reach between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius.

And that's the end of the news.