Daily news summary News Monday, FEBRUARY 07th, 2000

07-02-2000

Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I am Libor Kubik and here's the news.

CZECH-HAVEL-HEALTH

Czech President Vaclav Havel is expected to leave hospital later in the day nearly one week after checking in with a viral infection.

On Tuesday, the president has a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Milos Zeman who is supposed to brief him on an imminent reshuffle of his cabinet. Several members of his Social Democrat government are expected to be replaced under a power-sharing pact with the main opposition Civic Democratic Party of Lower House Speaker Vaclav Klaus.

CZECH-AUSTRIA-POLITICS

Czech political scientists are not unanimous in their assessment of the situation in Austria following the formation of a government that includes ministers from Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party.

In a survey run by the Czech news agency CTK, some of those asked subscribe to ex-premier Vaclav Klaus's rejection of the threats issued to Austria by the rest of the EU.

But others believe that Prague should communicate its serious concerns to Austria's new Prime Minister Wolfgang Schuessel.

Mr. Klaus, speaker of the lower house of the Czech Parliament, has repeatedly condemned the EU threat as an interference into Austria's state sovereignty. He has sent a letter to Mr. Schuessel in which he expressed his solidarity with his pact with Mr. Haider.

Senate Chairwoman Libuse Benesova from Mr. Klaus's party said on Sunday she cannot understand the motivation behind the EU's decision to apply sanctions against Austria over the inclusion of Mr. Haider's party in its new government..

CZECH-EU-CRITICISE

The Czech State Secretary for European Affairs Pavel Telicka has warned that the European Union will be guilty of treason if it delays its enlargement until 2006 or even later.

In an interview to the Los Angeles Times this weekend, the Czech official said it would be a major political mistake with enormous consequences.

The Czech Republic and other top contenders for EU membership are hoping to join the Union by the year 2003.

CZECH-CHURCHES-COOPERATION

The Czech Roman Catholic primate, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk and the Orthodox Metropolitan of Paris Jeremie Caligiorgis on Sunday signed a document sanctioning cooperation between Europe's two major church organisations.

The agreement, signed during an ecumenical service in Prague's medieval Bethlehem Chapel, brings together the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and the Conference of European Churches.

Both organisations were attending a joint session whose keynote was struggle against xenophobia and help to Europe's minority denominations.

The Ecumenical Charter of European Churches, a document to be formally signed by next year's Easter in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, describes current divisions among churches as scandalous and detrimental to spreading the message of Christianity.

CZECH-VIETNAM-EXPATS

Vietnamese expatriates in North Moravia have formed a regional interest organisation to help them better cope with the Czech authorities.

The Vietnamese community's Ostrava leader Phan Van Dao has told the press that his compatriots are seriously concerned over the harsh new Czech immigration act which has come into force.

He said more than half of North Moravia's 2,000-strong Vietnamese community were businesspeople but few of them had proper knowledge about Czech social and health insurance regulations.

Our correspondent says the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic currently numbers more than 20,000. Many of them live and work in North Moravia.

CZECH-VENEZUELA-CHARITY

It isn't much but it's at least something. A Prague charity bake to help out the child victims of last year's disastrous earthquake and mudslides in Venezuela generated over 20,000 crowns or nearly 600 US dollars this past weekend.

The proceeds of the bake will go to the United Nations Children's Fund. The disaster killed an estimated 30,000 people and left another 150,000 homeless.

CZECH-DOCTOR-KNIGHTED

A longtime former director of a prestigious Prague surgical clinic was knighted at a ceremony this past weekend at the Prague Castle.

Professor Bohuslav Niederle, who led the surgical team of the Motol University Hospital from the late 1940s till mid-seventies, will be 93 next month. He worked to promote Motol's status to that of a leading European medical institution.

A prolific author of books on medicine, Professor Niederle was an anti-Nazi resistance fighter during World War II.

CZECH-TENNIS-DAVISCUP

Tennis -- and in their Davis Cup world group first round tie in Ostrava on Sunday, the Czech Republic qualified to the quarterfinals when they beat Britain 4-1.

In the final singles on Sunday, Czech Bohdan Ulihrach eliminated Britain's Jamie Delgado 5:7 7:5 6-4. Earlier in the day, Czech Jiri Novak beat Britain's Tim Henman 6-4 6-2 6-2.

In Saturday's doubles, the Czech Republic's Jiri Novak and David Rikl beat Henman and David Broad 7-6 6-4 6-7 6-2.

On Friday, Dosedel lost to Henman 7-6 7-5 1-6 5-7 3-6 and Novak beat Delgado 6-4 7-6 6-3.

CZECH-WEATHER

And finally, the weather.

A cold front is advancing eastward across the Czech Republic. Monday will start with a wet morning and progressively snow showers might occur at higher elevations. Daytime temperatures between four and eight degrees Celsius, dropping to zero and slightly below by Tuesday morning.

The highest daytime temperatures on both Tuesday and Wednesday will be between four and eight degrees Celsius.

I am Libor Kubik and that’s the news.

07-02-2000