Daily news summary News

21-03-2004

Government, opposition agree to set up joint pension reform committee

The government and opposition parties have agreed to set up a joint committee to create a long-term pension policy for the Czech Republic. A group of experts nominated by all five parties in the Chamber of Deputies should be formed by the middle of April, the prime minister, Vladimir Spidla, told reporters late on Saturday evening. He said the pension system needs to be reformed because of the Czech Republic's aging population and low birth rate.

Case of StB agent accused of plotting to bomb RFE in 1970s reopened

The case of former Communist era StB secret police agent Pavel Minarik is to be reopened, Czech Television reported on Saturday. He is accused of planning to bomb the headquarters of Radio Free Europe in the German city of Munich. Mr Minarik worked as an StB agent at the station from 1969 to 1976 and sent at least three proposals to carry out a bomb attack to his superiors in Prague, according to the Office for the Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism. His case has been in and out of the Czech courts for over a decade.

Hurricane-force winds hit parts of Czech Republic

Parts of the Czech Republic were hit by strong winds on Saturday night. A 133-kilometre-an-hour hurricane was recorded at the peak of the country's highest mountain, Snezka in east Bohemia. Firemen were called out to deal with roofs being blown off houses, while trees were blown down in some places. Meanwhile, heavy rains and thawing snow have led to flood alerts in east Bohemia as rivers in the area threaten to break their banks.

Singer Reduza takes three prizes at Czech music industry awards

The singer Raduza has picked up three prizes at the Czech music industry's annual Andel, or Angel, awards. Raduza was named female singer of the year, new artist of the year and folk and country artist of the year at the ceremony in Prague on Saturday night. Male singer of the year was Dan Barta, Kabat were group of the year while singer-songwriter Jaromir Nohavica was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Fourteenth annual Prague Writers' Festival begins Sunday evening

The fourteenth annual Prague Writers' Festival gets underway on Sunday evening at the city's Minor theatre. Among those due to attend the opening is the South African Nobel prize-winning novelist Nadine Gordimer, who is the festival's special guest this year. Other guests include the German poet Hans Magnus Enzenberger, the American author Gary Shteyngart and Czech writer Eda Kriseova.

Weather

Monday will be another grey day in the Czech Republic, cloudy with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to range from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.

21-03-2004