President Vaclav Klaus has released a statement saying he is disturbed by attempts both at home and abroad to reopen what he calls "questions of the past", and will hold special talks with the prime minister and the leaders of the two houses of parliament. Mr Klaus's spokesman said the meeting would be called to examine problems in Czech-German relations and the return of confiscated property, but refused to confirm whether the four would discuss the issue of compensation to Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the war. Mr Klaus made the comments after Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber called for compensation for German expellees. Around 2.5 million ethnic Germans - known as Sudeten Germans - were expelled from Czechoslovakia after 1945 in decrees signed by President Eduard Benes.
Meanwhile the lower house of the German parliament, the Bundestag, has ratified the accession of 10 new members to the European Union with no mention of the Benes decrees. There had been concern some German politicians might seek to block accession unless the decrees were abolished. In the end parliament voted by a large majority to ratify accession.
The government has said it wants two telecoms companies to pay for their UTMS or 3G mobile phone licenses as soon as possible. Negotiations that could see around 5 billion crowns paid into the state treasury are expected to begin next week between the finance ministry and the telecoms companies T-Mobile and Eurotel. The two mobile operators were awarded so-called third-generation UMTS licenses in 2001 after agreeing to pay the government a combined 7.4 billion crowns over 10 years. The Czech Republic has one of the highest mobile penetration levels in Europe, with around 75 percent of the population owning a mobile.
Two Czech doctors have been arrested and charged in Slovakia on suspicion of trading in human organs. The two, who worked in a hospital in the West Slovak town of Skalice, face up to three years in prison if found guilty. One of the doctors, an assistant pathologist, was arrested whilst trying to leave the country with boxes of human organs and tissue in his car. Police said the organs were apparently bound for the black market in Germany.
The President's Office has said the Czech crown jewels, which went on display this week for the first time in five years, are not insured. A spokeswoman said the crown jewels, which were first used in the coronation of Charles IV in the 14th century, were so valuable no insurer would issue a policy for them. Thousands of people queued outside Prague Castle on Thursday to catch a glimpse of the jewels.
Friday will be another cool and cloudy day, with the chance of showers and thunderstorms in places. Temperatures in the daytime will range from 18 to 22 degrees Celsius, falling at night to lows of 10 degrees.
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