Daily news summary News Sunday, MARCH 26th, 2000

26-03-2000

You are tuned to Radio Prague, those were the headlines, now let's take a look at the news in full:

Klas criticizes Havel

Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for the Czech Secret Service, Jan Klas has criticized President Vaclav Havel for being indiscreet. This comes after Havel said on Friday that he had entrusted Klas to investigate the work of the Secret Service (BIS) and that most of the job concerned checking out a particular person, who is a civilian. The President voiced his suspicions recently that there are forces trying to destabilize the activities of two crime fighting units of the service. Klas said on Saturday that Havel had given away important information. He also expressed concern that the President may say more in public, making work for his team of investigators even harder.

11 Chechens leave UNHCR, negotiations continue

The head of the Prague branch of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Saturday that of the 24 Chechen refugees who have been occupying the offices since Wednesday, 11 have left for resettlement elsewhere in the Czech republic. Negotiators are holding talks with the remaining two families, but say they do not know when the situation will be resolved. The families may choose between another Czech center or moving to a different country. The Chechen refugees began camping at the office earlier in the week, after they fled their refugee center north of Prague. They claim to have been the victims of violence and death threats from Russian Mafia in the Czech Republic.

Mass for Ladislav Lis

(CSSD) Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and politicians attended a mass in Prague on Saturday for former dissident Ladislav Lis who died on the 18th March, aged 74. Observers say some 300 people attended the service. Milos Zeman made a speech is which he said Ladislav Lis had always upheld the principles of human dignity and rights. Lis fought in the resistance in the Second World War and signed Charter 77 as part of his opposition to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. In 1994 he entered Zeman's Social Democrat party and last year became a member of the government's Council for Human Rights.

Gross confirms readiness to take Interior Minister job

The Parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats Stanislav Gross said late on Friday that he is prepared to accept the post of Interior Minister. Gross who is one of the candidates for the job, told journalists that if the current Interior Minister Vaclav Grulich should leave or be dismissed, he would be willing to take over at the ministry. Grulich said on Friday that he will announce his plans for whether or not he will leave at the end of the month. There has been plenty of speculation that Gross will be offered the job, he has attached a condition that he is to retain his power within the party. Party leader Milos Zeman has dismissed this notion, saying he would like to see the minister who would lay down conditions. This is part of a cabinet reshuffle demanded by the opposition Civic Democrats in return for supporting the budget.

Metallurgy strike?

One of the largest metal works in Moravia, ZDB, announced on Saturday that it may go on strike on Monday. A Trade Union official said the body wants to make sure company assets stay under control of the new owner, a share holding company which will be admitted to the supervisory board in mid-April. The company employs some 4 000 people in an area where unemployment is steadily rising. Czech Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr visited Moravia on Saturday and held talks with officials from all five heavy industry companies in the region. This comes as production has dropped by 20% due to lack of finances. The companies say they want state help in the form of 1 and a half billion Czech crowns. Miroslav Gregr said that first of all he wanted to see a change of management and the creation of a group of experts to deal with the problems.

And we end as usual with a brief look at the weather:

Cloudy overcast skies and scattered rain showers are to be expected on Sunday. Daytime temperatures will range from 10 to 14 degrees Celsius, dropping to around zero overnight.

And finally, don't forget that the clocks go forward by one hour on Sunday as we switch to summertime.

That's the end of the news.

26-03-2000