Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

28-06-2003

Communists offer to support minority Social Democrat government

The Communist Party has offered to support a minority Social Democrat government if the present centre-left coalition were to collapse. The comments were made to reporters by Communist Party leader Miroslav Grebenicek during Saturday's Central Committee meeting. Mr Grebenicek said the party leadership had discussed the package of planned public finance reforms proposed recently by the government. He said the Communists would support some of them, but not the package as a whole. The governing coalition, made up of the Social Democrats and two right-of-centre parties, could face problems next month over the reforms.

Tvrdik to give up parliament seat after vote on public finance reforms

Former Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik has said he will give up his seat in the lower house of parliament on July 26th. He said he wanted to take part in voting on the controversial public finance reforms. Mr Trvdik resigned as Defence Minister at the end of May in protest at planned cuts in defence expenditure. He said after resigning he would also give up his seat in parliament.

Police to question members of Zeman government over D47 affair

Police say they plan to question members of the former government of Milos Zeman over controversial plans to build a motorway in North Moravia. The Zeman government gave the go-ahead for Israeli firm Housing & Construction to build the D47 motorway without launching a public tender. A police anti-corruption squad is investigating whether the deal involved bribery. Former members of the Zeman government - including the current Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla - could be questioned over the affair. The present government cancelled the D47 project in April.

Policemen given light sentences for attack on Roma man

Human rights groups have criticised a court verdict in Karlovy Vary after three police officers received suspended sentences for an attack on a Roma man. The court found the three guilty of beating up Karel Billy in woods near the city in May 2001 and sentenced them to ten months in prison, suspended for two years. Two other officers involved in the incident were set free. The court ruled the attack was not racially motivated. All three defendants and the state prosecutor appealed against the verdict, which was criticised by the government's human rights commissioner Jan Jarab.

IOC President Rogge arrives in Prague

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge has arrived in Prague to attend an IOC meeting on where to hold the 2010 Winter Olympics. The candidates are Salzburg, Pyongyang, and Vancouver, and the winning city will be announced on Wednesday, July 2. During his visit to Prague Mr Rogge will meet President Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and the Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem.

Police recommend trial for four Northern Irish football players

Police have recommended that four members of the Northern Ireland football team should stand trial over a brawl in a Prague sex club two years ago. Police want state prosecutors to try three players for breach of the peace and a fourth, striker Glenn Ferguson, to face trial for assault. A police spokesman said Mr Ferguson would be arrested immediately if he tried to enter the Czech Republic. A bouncer at the nightclub sustained minor injuries after being hit on the head by a flowerpot. At least one of the players has said the incident was blown out of proportion. Eyewitnesses say the brawl happened after the players were presented with the bill.

Austrian anti-nuclear activists to blockade border in Temelin protest

Austrian opponents of the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power station say they will hold a brief blockade of the Czech-Austrian border on Sunday morning. The blockade will be the latest protest by Austrian anti-nuclear activists against the Czech plant, which they claim is unsafe.

Weather

Sunday will be another warm day, with cloud and storms in places. Temperatures in the daytime will range from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 12 degrees.

28-06-2003