The German President, Johannes Rau, has warned that calls to build a memorial centre in Berlin are upsetting neighbouring countries, such as Poland and the Czech Republic. Erika Steinbach, president of the League of Expelled Germans (BdV), urged the German Social Democrat government on Friday to join a number of conservative-run German states in backing the construction of a museum to document the sufferings of ethnic Germans expelled from Eastern Europe immediately after the Second World War. But Eastern European senior politicians have stressed that the expulsion of Germans could only be thought of as a consequence of the war.
Czech dentists have said they are facing a crisis situation and are on emergency alert after health insurance companies have been failing to pay them on time. The president of the Czech Dentists' Association, Jiri Pekarek, said on Saturday that the health insurers themselves are not to be blamed as much as the health ministry, which he says was aware of the problem and should not have allowed it to get out of hand. Health Minister Marie Souckova responded by saying that she had been warning the government of problems with insurers' payments to dentists and outpatient doctors for a long time, adding she had also been negotiating with insurers, trying to stabilise the system and attain the best possible conditions for medical care providers. According to Mr Pekarek, the dentists are ready to stage protests should they not receive payments soon.
The Czech economy has shown resilience and has benefited from increasing consumer outlays, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday in its periodic evaluation of the country. "Recently, the economy has shown considerable resilience in the face of the global slowdown," the report said. Although the growth of the GDP had slowed, it still posted a rate of two percent in 2002 despite the devastating floods in the summer. The IMF said growth was reinforced by "strong private consumption, reflecting rapid growth of wages and lending to households, rising goods exports and a sizable fiscal stimulus". But the report noted investment has slowed. The Czech Republic is completing its transition from central planning to EU membership. On Monday, the Czech Statistical Office is expected to publish the second-quarter GDP data, as well as figures for the August CPI and unemployment.
Sunday is expected to have cloudy skies and scattered showers throughout the country. Temperatures will reach a maximum of 22 degrees Celsius.
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