President Vaclav Klaus has sharply criticised the European integration process. Speaking at a conference on economics in Munich on Friday, Mr Klaus said some European politicians, who he referred to as unionists and federalists, wanted to create a centralised European superstate. The president, who in the past has referred to himself as a Eurorealist, said the integration process should be halted because real democracy cannot exist in a structure which is bigger than a nation state. A referendum is to be held in the middle of next month on whether the Czech Republic should accede to the European Union. If the referendum is passed the country is expected to join the union in May 2004.
The Czech crown reached a six-year high against the US dollar on Friday when it stood at 27.78 to the US currency, it's highest value since the beginning of 1997. The six-year high was due to a fall in the value of the dollar on world markets. Some analysts say a weak dollar has a positive influence on the Czech economy as imports of oil, gas and consumer products become cheaper.
Politicians in Bavaria and Upper Austria have called for border restrictions between their countries and the Czech Republic not to be loosened too quickly. Bavarian Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein and the governor of Upper Austria, Josef Puehringer, said on Friday that fighting crime was the main consideration when it came to relaxing border restrictions, an issue which will arise when the Czech Republic fulfils the criteria of the Schengen agreement.
Police in Prague have charged two skinheads following an attack they made on anti-nazi activist Ondrej Cakl at Prague Castle after a demonstration on Thursday, which was May Day. The skinheads, one of whom is said to be a leading Czech neo-nazi, broke Mr Cakl's thumb during the attack and have been charged with breach of the peace.
The state attorney's office has asked the police to charge three men who on Monday attacked a doctor and ambulance personnel trying to assist the three after their car crashed. The doctor was beaten to the ground and kicked in the face before the men set upon the other rescue workers. They were subsequently restrained by firemen who handed them over to the police. The three now face charges of breach of the peace and bodily harm.
Saturday is expected to be cloudy with rain and even storms in places. The maximum temperature will be 19 degrees Celsius. Sunday should be a more pleasant day with sunshine in many parts of the country and a maximum temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
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