Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

30-05-2003

Tvrdik withdraws resignation

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has announced that Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik has withdrawn his resignation. Mr Spidla said the minister would stay on and complete the planned reform of the armed forces. Mr Tvrdik has been given three months in which to revise the reforms in the light of planned cuts in defence expenditure. He will also give up his seat in parliament.

General Jones: Tvrdik resignation all about need for the transformation of armed forces

General James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), has said that Czech Minister Tvrdik's objections were part of broader ongoing debate on the future of the European armed forces. Discussion should not focus on money but rather on the possible ways of making the armies of the NATO states most effective using already existing means. European countries would achieve much by reducing the number of troops, closing military bases, abolishing commands and staffs. In other words, completing the transformation process of the armed forces that are still in a Cold War state to become forces that are ready for the 21st century, he said on Friday.

Czechs abroad show little interest in upcoming EU referendum

Czechs living abroad have little interest in casting their votes in the upcoming referendum on EU membership, according to the results of a public opinion poll conducted by reporters for the CTK news agency. The results of the study also suggest that interest in the referendum among Czechs abroad is significantly lower than in last year's parliamentary elections. Those who want to participate in the referendum have to do so in the Czech Republic, a condition that many Czechs abroad object to. CTK points out, though, that these terms have little influence as out of the 239 eligible voters on record at the Czech Embassy in Bratislava, just hours away from the Czech-Slovak border, only twelve had shown a sincere interest in the referendum by Friday.

Student stabbed while drinking with friend

Czech police are investigating an incident in which a young woman died and another suffered head injuries after a college drinking party. The two 21-year-old women were medical students and roommates at a dormitory at Masaryk University, a Brno police spokesman said. On Thursday, the two students consumed alcohol in their room, resulting in a physical fight. By the time the police arrived at the scene, one student was dead with multiple stab wounds to the chest, and the other had a head wound inflicted with a bottle.

Four Romanies to be compensated for racial discrimination

A restaurant owner in the eastern town of Nachod is to compensate and apologise to four Roma, who were not served because of their skin colour. A court in nearby Hradec Kralove ruled on Friday that Karel Svoboda was to pay each Roma 20,000 Czech crowns and send them a letter apologising for the discrimination. Mr Svoboda can still appeal the verdict in the High Court in Prague.

Minister Dostal to visit Russia

Culture Minister Pavel Dostal is expected to travel to St. Petersburg on Saturday to attend one of the highlights of the Czech cultural season that's currently underway in Russia. The so-called "Ship of Comedians", left Moscow last Sunday and is expected to reach St. Petersburg this week-end. On board the ship are theatre actors, musicians, and artists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia presenting exhibitions, workshops, concerts, film projections, theatre performances and seminars.

Weather

Saturday is forecast with clear skies and temperatures between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius. Overcast skies and scattered showers are expected in Bohemia on Saturday evening.

30-05-2003