Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

02-06-2003

Civic Democrats for second referendum on EU constitution

The opposition Civic Democrats have said that if Czechs vote to join the European Union in a forthcoming referendum, it should be followed by a second referendum on the planned new EU constitution. Deputy leader Jan Zahradil said on Monday the Civic Democrats would recommend voting against the EU constitution in a referendum, if they considered it excessively federalist. The EU's first constitution is currently being debated by the European Convention. The Czech Republic will join the union next May if voters say "yes" on June 13 and 14.

Workers to demonstrate in Prague against government cutbacks

The week after the referendum a large demonstration against cutbacks announced by the government will be held in the centre of Prague, trade union leaders said on Monday. Groups representing teachers, doctors and other health workers have threatened strike action if the planned cutbacks go ahead. Meanwhile, farmers are to stage a protest in the north Moravian city of Olomouc on Wednesday. They say bad weather and low prices for their produce have left many farmers on the verge of bankruptcy.

Environmentalists take motorway complaint to European Commission

Three Czech environmental organisations have filed a complaint against a planned motorway with the European Commission. The groups say the D8 motorway could cause serious damage to the environment in the Krusne hory mountains in north Bohemia. For their part, police in the region have called for the motorway to be built as soon as possible in order to deal with severe traffic delays.

Jakes collapses at trial of other former communist official

Former top communist Milos Jakes collapsed in a Prague court on Monday while giving evidence at the trial of another party official. Mr Jakes, secretary-general of the Communist Party from 1985 to 1989, was testifying in the case of Karel Hoffman, accused of treason for his part in the silencing of radio broadcasts during the 1968 Soviet-led invasion. Mr Hoffman's trial follows the acquittal last September of Mr Jakes and former prime minister Jozef Lenart on charges related to the 1968 invasion.

Police recommend charges against TV journalist over fracas

Police have recommended that the state attorney file charges against Czech TV journalist Marek Wollner for attacking the public broadcaster's former general director, Jiri Balvin. The alleged incident occurred after a TV awards show in February. Mr Wollner is currently suspended from appearing on Czech TV.

Man charged with shooting driver who caught him stealing diesel

Police have arrested a man who they suspect of shooting dead a lorry driver when the driver caught him stealing diesel from his truck. The incident occurred in Luzne u Rakovnika, central Bohemia, on Thursday and the suspect was arrested a day later. The truck driver, who was 30, had apparently had diesel stolen from his truck on several occasions.

Weather

Tuesday should be sunny in most parts of the country, with the possibility of some rain or storms. The maximum temperature will be 28 degrees Celsius.

02-06-2003