President Vaclav Klaus - speaking during an official visit to Sweden - has said the disadvantages of the euro outweigh the advantages. In a speech to the Swedish Parliament, President Klaus said the euro was created purely for political reasons and not economic necessity. Mr Klaus also said that in his opinion the results of deeper European integration had fallen well below expectations. The Czech government says it wants the country to adopt the single European currency by the end of the decade. Sweden is one of three European Union countries not to have adopted the euro.
Meanwhile President Klaus also held talks with the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. The two men discussed the possible leasing of Swedish-made Gripen jet fighters for the Czech Air Force. On Monday a Czech commission made up of five ministries recommended to the cabinet that the air force should lease the planes from Gripen. The country must replace its fleet of ageing MiGs by the end of 2004.
The Czech Defence Ministry has offered NATO 150 soldiers to take part in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. The offer was made at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels. Chief-of-Staff Pavel Stefka said the offer still had to be approved by the cabinet and the lower house of parliament. The Defence Ministry said it is hoped the government will approve the mission in January. The country joined NATO in 1999.
Valuable jewellery on loan from Prague's Museum of Decorative Arts has been stolen from an exhibition in Belgium. The jewellery, which was on display at a special exhibition in the city of Antwerp, was stolen shortly after 10 am on Sunday. The exhibit, featuring diamonds and emeralds and other precious items, was insured for a million euros. Belgian police have launched an investigation.
The state has been ordered to pay compensation to anarchist Slavomir Tesarek after he was beaten by a police officer during 2000's IMF/World Bank meeting in Prague. Mr Tesarek was attacked by a plainclothes police officer during a demonstration against the meeting. The court had already ordered the authorities to apologise, but following an appeal by Mr Tesarek's lawyers, the state must also pay him 10,000 crowns, or 375 dollars in compensation.
A woman has lost her finger after being attacked by a man she met on a date. The The 45-year-old victim had met the divorced man of 27 for drinks before they checked into a hotel in the South Moravian town of Zlin. Police said the man allegedly raped and attacked the woman, biting off her finger in the process. The woman was rushed to hospital where she is being treated for shock and blood loss.
Wednesday will be a mostly cloudy day with rain in places. Daytime temperatures will range from 5 to 9 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of -1 degree.
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