Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

10-06-2003

Pilots on strike alert

Czech Airlines pilots have extended their strike alert after management said it would not give in to their demands for higher wages and more advantageous contracts. Czech Airlines spokesman Daniel Plovajko said on Tuesday that the executive board of directors stood firmly behind this decision, in spite of recent trade union protests. Pilots of the Czech national air carrier called a 24 hour strike alert on Monday and are now debating their future course of action. They have been putting pressure on the airlines management for weeks now, including a three week protest in the course of which they delayed flights by slowing down flight preparation procedures.

Concert for EU accession

The former president Vaclav Havel is one of the guests of honor at a concert in support of EU accession held at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The event was preceded by a dispute with the Town Hall which would not allow it to take place on the Old Town Square citing noise pollution. Following a great deal of criticism the Town Hall approved Wenceslas Square as a more appropriate location. Get-togethers in support of EU accession are taking place in several parts of Prague. The Prague 3 Zizkov district is organizing an outdoor event called "Zizkov goes to Europe". Czechs are due to vote on EU accession this weekend.

E-mails from PM are a misunderstanding

The internet agency Seznam.cz and the advertising agency T.T.V have apologized to Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla for sending out mass E-mails under his name. The E-mail was an appeal to Czechs to go to the polls this weekend to vote in the national referendum on EU accession. The Prime Minister distanced himself from the mails earlier in the day. The agencies in question, whose services the government used in its EU campaign, said the E-mails were a misunderstanding.

Heat wave causes health problems

Doctors have reported an increase in emergency calls as a result of the present heat wave. Many children are said to be fainting at school as a result of dehydration and teachers have been asked to pay more attention to their charges in this respect. Elderly people and people with heart problems are also badly affected by the heat and doctors are advising them to stay indoors and increase their intake of liquids to three litres per day. The next few days are expected to be equally taxing with temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius.

Parliamentary commission to investigate Diag Human case

Parliament has approved the setting up of a special commission to investigate the case of Diag Human, a company whom the Czech government paid 326 million crowns in compensation for lost profits as a result of some derogatory remarks about the firm made by the then health minister Martin Bojar. The case has been shrouded in secrecy and the current health minister Marie Souckova has been pushing for an investigation. A ten member parliament commission is to present its findings to the Lower House by the end of this year.

Conflict of interests law should include fine

Public figures should in future be fined for breaking the conflict of interests law. A proposed law drafted by Senator Josef Zieleniec in cooperation with Transparency International envisages a 200,000 crown fine for the transgression. Senator Zieleniec argues that the current legislation is toothless, since there is no form of punishment for breaking it. The proposed law, which aims to reduce corruption, should also prevent politicians who make decisions about a certain firm from joining it immediately after leaving their political post. Transparency International is actively engaged in fighting corruption in dozens of countries around the world.

Weather:

Wednesday should be sunny and extremely hot with temperatures between 30 and 33 degrees Celsius. We can expect late afternoon thunderstorms in many parts of the country.

10-06-2003