Daily news summary News

02-04-2005

Freedom Union threatens to leave government if ministers fail to resign

The smallest party in the ruling coalition, the Freedom Union, has said it would leave the government if the cabinet fails to resign. On Friday, the minority government of the Freedom Union and the senior Social Democrats survived a vote of no confidence, thanks to the Communists who abstained from the vote. The Freedom Union Information Technology Minister, Vladimir Mlynar, already sent his resignation to the government office on Saturday morning, saying he could not be in a government that needs the Communists to stay in power.

Gross rejects call from President Klaus for confidence vote before cabinet appointments

Meanwhile, President Vaclav Klaus has demanded that Prime Minister Stanislav Gross call a vote of confidence, before Mr Klaus appoints new ministers, including replacements for the three Christian Democrat ministers who resigned on Thursday. Mr Gross said he would not hold a confidence vote and noted that the president did not have the right to make such a demand under the constitution.

The prime minister has already announced some of his new cabinet appointees. Jan Kohout is to become foreign minister, Radko Martinek will be environment minister and the transport ministry is to be headed by Pavel Svagr.

Czech nationalists protest against Landsmannschaft in Prague

Some forty members of Czech nationalist parties and groupings called onto the Landsmannschaft in Prague to go back to Germany, at a protest demonstration in the Czech capital on Saturday. The Landsmannschaft is a German organisation that serves the interests of Sudeten Germans - ethnic Germans who were expelled from Czechoslovakia and had their property confiscated just after WWII. At the demonstration, protesters labelled Sudeten Germans as neo-Nazis and criticised Czech politicians for communicating with them.

Visegrad Group Presidents reschedule annual meeting

The Presidents of the Visegrad Four group - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, have decided to postpone their annual meeting due to the ailing health of Pope John Paul II. Alexander Kwasniewski, Ivan Gasparovic, Ferenc Madl and Vaclav Klaus were scheduled to discuss further Visegrad cooperation, the EU, US-European relations, and developments in Ukraine, in southern Poland this Sunday and Monday. The offices of the heads of state have yet to decide on a new date.

Weather

This weekend will remain sunny and warm with temperatures between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius. Next week will have cloudy skies but day-time temperatures are expected to rise steadily to reach a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius.

02-04-2005