The Czech President Vaclav Havel met Pope John Paul II on Saturday, during a state visit to the Vatican. The private audience took place in a Vatican library and lasted about 15 minutes. Later Mr Havel told journalists that an agreement between the Vatican and the Czech Republic, defining relations between the Czech state and the Roman Catholic Church, could be ready by June. The Czech Republic is one of only a few post-communist countries which have not yet signed such an agreement.
The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman is to conclude his visit to Mexico on Saturday. Before returning to the Czech Republic, Mr Zeman will make a short stop in Miami, Florida, where he is to meet Czech and American businessmen and Czech honorary consuls to the United States. Prime Minister Zeman is expected to arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday afternoon.
A light aircraft violated the no-flight zone of the Temelin nuclear power plant on Saturday morning. Army radars detected the aircraft some 25 kilometres from the centre of the zone and the pilot immediately obeyed the orders of Czech air-force pilots and returned to his planned flight route. The no-flight zones over the Temelin and Dukovany nuclear power stations were extended after the September attacks on the United States.
The Czech Statistics Office says the mortality rate is dropping in the Czech Republic. The number of deaths in 2001 was the lowest since 1966. The Czech Republic has also succeeded in reducing infant mortality to only four deaths per 1,000 babies. However, the Czech population is dwindling, with the number of deaths still exceeding the birth rate.
The pre-election campaign in the Czech Republic has hit the Internet. Most political parties started launching their own websites several years ago but with the election date approaching, parties are increasingly using the Internet to promote their policies. The most popular forms of advertisement are banners, interactive games, discussion chats, video or audio recordings and also e-mails. According to a recent survey, only 30 percent of adults have regular access to the Internet but experts expect the global computer network to gradually gain more importance in election campaigns in the Czech Republic.
Saturday night is expected to be cloudy with snow showers in places and temperatures between 0 and minus 5 degrees Celsius. Sunday should be overcast with isolated sleet or snow showers and daytime temperatures ranging from six to ten degrees Celsius.