Following talks on the EU budget in Budapest, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said Britain's proposal to slash spending should affect all member states equally, not just the newcomers. He said that Britain now expected the newcomers to bear the greater part of the burden, an estimated 73 percent of the proposed cuts would be made at their expense. The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia indicated during Friday's talks that they would be prepared to accept a small cut in the aid they receive from EU coffers in return for easier access to funding. However, the concessions they are prepared to make fall short of the cuts proposed by Britain. Money for regional development is considered essential for the newcomers to catch up with the old EU members.
The Freedom Union, the smallest of the three parties in the Czech governing coalition debated its election strategy at a party conference in Prague over the weekend. Pavel Nemec, who was re-elected party leader, said the Freedom Union would enter into negotiations with the European Democrats on a joint list of candidates for the 2006 general elections. Alone the party is unlikely to win seats in Parliament. Its public support rating now stands at 0,5 percent.
Thousands of people have converged on Slavkov, in the southeast of the Czech Republic, for a re-enactment of the battle of the Three Emperors, Napoleon's great victory at Austerlitz. On December 2th 1805, Napoleon's army of around 75,000 crushed a superior force of Russians and Austrians in a battle that historians describe as a masterpiece of military strategy. The re-enactment of the Battle of Three Emperors, on its bicentenary, is said to be the biggest re-enactment of a Napoleonic battle in Europe. Participants from around the world are taking part -Napoleon himself is played by an American - and the event has attracted government officials, military buffs and historians from across Europe. Hotels in the area have been booked for up to two years in advance. Czech television is screening the event live.
Sunday is expected to be cloudy to overcast with scattered rain or snow showers and day temperatures between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.
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