Czech politicians joined world leaders in paying their last respects to the late Austrian President Tomads Klestil. Among the two dozen heads of state and royals who attended President Klestil's funeral in Vienna on Saturday were Czech President Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and the former Czech president Vaclav Havel, who was a personal friend of Mr. Klestil's. Here in the Czech Republic, the media have run special coverage and profiles documenting the late president's life and work. He is remembered as a great statesman and a skilled diplomat who did much to advance Czech-Austrian relations.
Two of the three parties which are to form the new Czech government have asked for safeguards against future cooperation with the communists. The Christian Democratic Party and the right-wing Freedom Union have said they will do everything in their power to curb the influence of the Communist party on the Czech political scene. Their concern stems from the fact that some members of the strongest coalition party - the Social Democrats - have spoken in favour of a more leftist policy programme and closer cooperation with the communists. The party's acting chairman Stanislav Gross met with Communist Party representatives last Thursday to negotiate support for the new government, but no agreement was reached.
The Czech Republic wants to push for visa-free relations with Australia, Canada and the United States, according to a Foreign Ministry official. Ivan Jancarek, head of the Foreign Ministry's European Union section, told the CTK news agency that since the Czech Republic was an EU member state its citizens should enjoy the same privileges as those of other EU countries. The EU has a solidarity clause which allows EU members to increase pressure on non-members to harmonize their visa regimes with all EU countries. The citizens of several newcomer states which joined the EU in May, including the Czech Republic, still need a visa to visit Australia, Canada and the US. However the citizens of the three mentioned countries already enjoy visa free travel to the Czech Republic. "We want reciprocal treatment," the Czech Foreign Ministry official said.
The body of a 29 year old Czech woman who got lost while vacationing in Croatia was found on Friday by the country's mountain rescue service. The woman's body was found in the Sveti Ilja mountain in southern Croatia after a search that involved army helicopters. She got lost in the mountains on Thursday after separating from a group with whom she went on a day trip there. The report did not say what caused her death.
Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy with some rain and day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
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