Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

14-08-2003

Spidla calls for open dialogue with labour unions

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has called for open dialogue to relieve mounting tension with labour unions over his government's proposed fiscal reforms. The reform package - which is now being considered by parliament - includes layoffs and pension cuts in the public sector that are opposed by the country's largest union umbrella group, the Czech-Moravian Federation of Trade Unions. Mr Spidla said in a newspaper interview the only way to resolve the conflict was to engage in constant dialogue. Prague could see demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of public sector workers in September, as parliament prepares to vote on the package.

Czech injured in Greek earthquake

A spokesman for a hospital on the Greek island of Lefkada says a Czech national was among those injured in Thursday's major earthquake. More than 20 people were hurt when the earthquake struck on Thursday morning. No further details have been given about the man's identity or condition.

Police arrest man after armed robbery, kidnapping

Police in the South Moravian city of Breclav have arrested an 18-year-old man less than 24 hours after he robbed a petrol station and drove off with two hostages - including a policeman. The man was arrested at the Rozvadov border crossing in West Bohemia shortly after midnight on Wednesday. The driver of the car is now being questioned to establish whether he was an accomplice or one of the hostages.

Kinsky to claim antiques seized after WW2

Franz Ulrich Kinsky, a descendant of the Kinsky noble family, has said he will demand that the Czech state return hundreds of antiques and other historical artefacts which he said were wrongfully seized from him after the Second World War. Mr Kinsky's lawyer said the artefacts - including paintings, engravings and a large library of antique books - had been taken from property which was confiscated by the state. Mr Kinsky has filed a total of 157 lawsuits, asking the courts to declare him the legal owner of property including country homes and woodland. Most of the property was confiscated after 1945 from Mr Kinsky's father, an alleged Nazi sympathiser who died before the war. However Mr Kinsky says the property belonged to him, not his father, and the confiscation was therefore illegal. He has so far won five cases in court.

High Court stiffens sentences of Albanian drug dealers

The High Court in Olomouc has increased sentences of two Albanians who were found guilty in April of trafficking in heroin. Naim Kollcaku will spend ten years behind bars instead of three, while his countryman Javer Karagjuzi will spend six years in prison instead of two. A Czech accomplice's sentence was not raised. The High Court increased the sentences after a new witness appeared to testify against the men.

Weather

Friday will be cooler than recent days, with temperatures rising to a maximum of 28 degrees Celsius. The skies will be mostly clear with the chance of isolated showers in places. Night-time temperatures will fall to lows of eight degrees.

14-08-2003