Daily news summary News Thursday, JUNE 08th, 2000

08-06-2000

HAVEL-HEALTH

The lungs of the Czech President Vaclav Havel, who on Wednesday suffered from a serious buildup of congestion in his weak respiratory system, have begun functioning normally.

Mr. Havel, who is 63, is recovering from a hernia operation carried out on Monday in Prague's military hospital. His doctors had said that his chronically weak respiratory system would be a concern in the first few days after the surgery.

But his doctor Ilja Kotik said that President Havel had begun to take regular meals and taking brief walks around his hospital room. Monday's operation was completed without complications.

CZECH-WORLD-EXPO

It was the turn of the Czech Republic on Wednesday to impress as the EXPO 2000 organisers staged another nation day at the Hanover world fair site.

Tenor Karel Gott, who has a large following in Germany, was giving a concert while a group of Moravian dancers and folk musicians also performed in front of the Czech pavilion.

Another highlight was a display by eight brightly-costumed horses and riders. The Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman formally began the nation day, one of a series at increasing interest in the event.

CZECH-EU-ENLARGEMENT-CRIME

The Czech Supreme Court's chairperson Eliska Wagnerova has said her country's integration into the EU is impossible without effective suppression of economic crime.

Speaking at an international conference in Brno on EU-Czech cooperation in fighting economic crime, she said on Wednesday that the Czech Republic had experienced economic crime in its present forms as a new phenomenon over the past decade.

Ms. Wagnerova said the EU's experience with fighting this kind of crime helped the relevant Czech bodies react more swiftly to new challenges.

CZECH-US-UK-BALKANS

The American Ambassador to Prague John Shattuck and his British colleague David Broucher are to visit this coming weekend the Czech units on peacekeeping missions in the Balkans.

On their visit to a mechanised battalion deployed in Bosnia and a reconnaissance unit in Kosovo, they will be accompanied by the Czech Armed Forces Chief of Staff Jiri Sedivy.

Defence ministry sources in Prague have said that they will visit also the KFOR headquarters in Pristina and the British multinational command in Banja Luka.

The Czech government has decided to keep both units in the Balkans at least until the end of the year.

CZECH-SLOVAK-BORDER

Nearly 300 police will be stationed on the Czech-Slovak border as of July 1 in an effort to stem the tide of illegal refugees making their way through the Czech Republic en route to a new life in European Union nations.

The Czech Deputy Interior Minister Petr Ibl has said in Prague that the beefed-up border patrol should reduce the number of illegal aliens entering Czech territory by 30 percent.

Our correspondent says tens of thousands of refugees try to enter the EU via the Czech Republic each year. According to German statistics published by the DPA news agency, some 40,000 people use the 800-kilometre Czech-German border to enter illegally into Germany each year.

Some of the refugees come from relatively stable Poland and Hungary, while others are from strife- torn Yugoslavia and Albania. Still more come from as far away as Afghanistan, China and India.

CZECH-WEATHER

And we end as usual with a quick look at the weather.

After a wet and cloudy night, Thursday will be a fairly warm day with daytime highs between 20 and 23 degrees Celsius, dropping to between nine and 13 degrees in the night.

On Friday and Saturday, warm southern air will pour into the Czech Republic. We expect only slightly overcast skies and on Saturday, also scattered thunderstorms. Daytime highs on Friday between 23 and 27 Celsius, and on Saturday, between 27 and 31 degrees.

I'm Libor Kubik and that's the end of the news.

08-06-2000