Daily news summary News

06-03-2004

Spidla: minority government not an option

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said that he is not considering the option of forming a minority Social Democrat government. The prime minister, who is also the chairman of the senior coalition Social Democratic Party, made the statement after a second MP left the smallest party in the ruling coalition, the Freedom Union, on Friday. MP Marian Bielesz announced his decision only a few days after Tomas Vrbik quit the Freedom Union in protest at its participation in the Social Democrat-led government. Both MPs, however, decided to remain members of the Freedom Union parliamentary party, which means that the ruling coalition retains its slim 101-vote majority in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.

US-DEU leadership to ask for confidence from national committee

Following the departure of two of its members of parliament, the leadership of the junior government Freedom Union has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the party's national committee. The chairman of the Freedom Union, Deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares said that the party leadership would ask for confidence at the extraordinary meeting on Sunday but he declined to speculate on what would happen if the result of the vote was negative.

Grebenicek: capitalism must be succeeded by more just system

The chairman of the junior opposition Communist Party Miroslav Grebenicek has said that capitalism must be succeeded by a more socially just system. Speaking at a conference of radical leftist parties in Prague on Saturday, Mr Grebenicek said that people will keep on trying to come up with alternative systems to capitalism because it does not know how to deal with its own faults. The Czech Communist Party chairman also said that the fight for social justice and equality remained a priority for radical left-wing parties.

Police detain three fraud suspects

Police say they have captured three men suspected of using a stolen ID card to withdraw almost 32 million crowns from a company account with the eBanka bank. An automatic security system at the bank detected suspicious transactions and the bank decided to report the case to the Interior Ministry. The three suspects from North Bohemia were arrested in Prague and if found guilty face up to 12 years in prison.

Man holding police officers hostage arrested in Strakonice

Police say they have arrested a 43-old man who held two police officers hostage on Saturday morning threatening to explode a hand grenade. The two policemen first detained the abductor on Saturday morning in the south Bohemian town of Ceske Budejovice after he robbed a tobacconist's shop using a dummy hand grenade. He threatened to use it against the police officers and ordered them to drive him to the town of Strakonice. A police unit with the assistance of a psychologist detained the abductor later and escorted him back to Ceske Budejovice.

Weather

Sunday should be partly cloudy with occasional snow. Daytime temperatures are expected to range from plus 1 to plus 4 degrees Celsius.

06-03-2004