The government has decided that Czech diplomacy will support the launch of negotiations on Turkey's accession to the European Union. The Prime Minister Stanislav Gross will present the Czech stand at the EU summit in December which is to make a final decision on the start of the integration process with Turkey. However, the Czech government along with representatives of the European Commission stresses that Ankara must fulfil all membership criteria and there is no automatic guarantee that the talks will result in EU admission. Turkey has sought to become an EU member since 1963. Europe however criticises the country for its treatment of women and the Kurdish ethnic minority.
The office of the Czech ombudsman says it has evidence of 40 new cases of alleged coercive sterilisation of Roma women - more than a third of them performed before 1989. The office is now gathering documentation which will be handed over to the Health Ministry. The first reports of alleged cases of coercive sterilisation appeared in September. The ombudsman Otakar Motejl appointed an expert commission to look into the matter. It is now to assess whether the cases of sterilisation were in accordance with Czech law and medical ethics.
The leaders of the Czech football league, Sparta Prague, have suffered a shock 1:0 home defeat to Mlada Boleslav, who won promotion to the first division last season. It was Sparta's first loss in 18 games and since the appointment of Frantisek Straka as manager. Sparta are three points ahead of second-placed Teplice.
The Social Democrats have called on their supporters to vote against the right wing Civic Democratic Party, even if that means supporting the Communists, in the second round of elections to the Senate next weekend. The Civic Democrats have candidates in run-offs to 25 of 27 constituencies, while the Social Democrats have only three. Social Democrat leader Stanislav Gross said his party's aim was to prevent the Civic Democrats winning a sufficient majority in the Senate to be able to change the Constitution.
The Czech rock group Prazsky Vyber are playing a special concert in support of Cuba's opposition and to mark the 15th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The group - whose leader Michael Kocab was a dissident and oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia - are performing in Florida and the concert is being broadcast to Cuba by the opposition TV station, Marti.
The police want to charge the former ultra right republican leader Miroslav Sladek with damaging creditors. During his years in office, Sladek indebted the party heavily, although according to the police, he must have known that the party would be unable to meet its obligations. It now owes more than 40 million crowns. If found guilty, Sladek could face up to 5 years in prison.
The opposition Civic Democrat Party has called on voters to go to the
polls in next weekend's second round of elections to the Senate,
especially in constituencies in which its candidate is facing a Communist
Party opponent. The Civic Democrats have candidates in the run-offs in 25
of 27 constituencies. The party has already won one seat in the Senate,
when its candidate took more than 50 percent of the vote in the first
The Civic Democrats also won elections in 12 of the country's 13 regions at the weekend. They are expected to form coalitions with the Christian Democrats on most regional authorities.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic was at 8.9 percent at the end of
October, down from 9.1 percent a month earlier, according to figures
released by the Labour Ministry on Monday. Mild weather which boosted
activity in construction and tourism is credited with the slight fall
in the unemployment rate.
Inflation, meanwhile, rose by 3.5 percent on an annual basis in October, which is the biggest increase since March 2002.