Daily news summary News

15-07-2004

Klaus: Government crisis will continue if electoral system is not changed

Czech President Vaclav Klaus says the current government crisis can be blamed on the electoral system and problematic conditions for early elections. In an article for Thursday's edition of the popular daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, Mr Klaus wrote that the electoral system was dysfunctional and added the political crisis would continue if the system is not changed. He also urged the country's leading political parties on Thursday to form a new government capable of pushing through much needed reforms. "The public expects change from the government, not just a change of faces, it has to be a change of programme, maybe even the style of governing," Klaus wrote in daily Mlada Fronta Dnes. The government led by Social Democrat Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla resigned last month.

Bus with British teenagers crashes into truck

A bus transporting British children crashed head on with a Tatra truck close to the east-Bohemian town Havlickuv Brod. Both drivers were injured seriously with broken legs and ribs. Thirteen British teenagers were taken to hospital; three of them were feared to have suffered concussions, and were to stay in hospital for several days to be monitored. The students were on their way to visit a glass factory. Police said they suspected the accident was caused by a reckless driver of a passenger car, which was ahead of the bus and suddenly slowed down to turn off on to a side road, forcing the bus driver to swerve onto the opposite lane.

Prime Minister visits Czech-Slovak KFOR unit

The outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla visited the multi-national KFOR unit in Kosovo on Thursday. Mr Spidla was accompanied by Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka. During the one-day visit to the Serbian province, they honoured members of the 500 member Czech-Slovak peace-keeping unit with medals, and passed on an ambulance provided by the Czech humanitarian organisation Stonozka to the village of Babin Most, where some 900 Serbians and 320 Albanians have been living together peacefully.

Customs officials find hundreds of smuggled exotic animals

Customs officials say they confiscated some 670 exotic animals close to the Moravian town Zlin on Wednesday. The animals, which were mainly tortoises, were liable to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and were smuggled into the country to be sold to animal breeders. Experts say the Czech Republic is a significant crossing point from which exotic animals and rare plants are then smuggled on to Germany and onward to the Benelux countries.

Interior Ministry report: number of foreigners turned back at border crossings on the decrease

The number of foreigners turned back at border crossings is on the decrease. Last year, 80,000 people were not allowed to enter the Czech Republic, which is some 5,000 fewer people than the year before, according to an Interior Ministry report on migration. The number of people crossing borders has also dropped in the past few years.

Weather

Friday is expected to be overcast with scattered showers throughout the country and day-time temperatures reaching a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius.

15-07-2004