The Deputy Chairman of the Czech Communist Party, Jiri Dolejs, has said he
and two other Communists MPs would likely vote to override President
Vaclav Klaus's veto on the introduction of a European Arrest Warrant. The
vote in the lower house of Parliament is scheduled for Friday.
Most Communist deputies argue that adopting the European Arrest Warrant
should be preceded the adoption of an amendment to the Charter of Basic
Human Rights and Freedoms, which would allow the extradition of Czech
citizens abroad. Without the amendment, both the Communist and the main
opposition Civic Democrats, of which President Klaus was chairman,
consider the bill to be unconstitutional. The European Arrest warrant only
relates to serious crime such as terrorism, trafficking in drugs, people
or weapons, murder, rape, and engaging in paedophilia.
Deputies are also due to vote on Friday on bills relating to reforming the educational system reform and the abolition of compulsory national military service.
About a dozen Czech rock bands will play for a benefit concert this Sunday for the "We don't talk to Communists" group which is calling for the Communist party to be declared illegal. Writer and former dissident Petr Placak, one of the event's organisers, told journalists on Tuesday that in addition to the concerts, several avant-garde theatre groups would also stage productions. The event will take place in an abandoned former factory in Prague's Karlin district, close to the city centre. A "We don't talk to communists" concert was first performed last year, on November 17, the anniversary of the brutal intervention by communist police against a peaceful students' demonstration in Prague in 1989, which led to the so-called Velvet Revolution.
The weekend brought Czech athletes two gold medals at the Paralympics
in Greece. Czech swimmer Martin Kovar won the 100 metre free style on
Sunday in 1:43,51 - setting a new world record, while Veronika Foltova
won the discus. Meanwhile, 29-year-old cyclist Jiri Jezek won the
silver medal in the cycling race, narrowly beaten by Spaniard Robert
The results put the Czech Republic in ninth place in the overall medal standings.
Czech member of European Parliament Jana Bobosikova has requested that her colleague Vladimir Zelezny apologise for his statements about her and her family made in the Czech media last week, in which he criticised her for hiring her husband as her assistant in the European Parliament and accused her of betraying her party's principles. Mrs Bobosikova has threatened to sue Mr Zelezny for slander if he fails to explain his remarks over the next seven days. The public falling-out between both Euro MPs sharply contrasts their professional relationship earlier in the year when both successfully ran for European parliament under the banner of the so-called Independents.
A court in the north Bohemian city of Usti nad Labem has ruled the
municipality does not have to pay any compensation to the Cervenaks, a
Romani family that was suing the city for damages allegedly suffered in
1993. For the Cervenak family the heart of the dispute was the loss of
city-owned apartments that followed after family members moved to
Slovakia. When family members began returning to Usti nad Labem within
a matter of days, they found they were unable to return to their
Cervenak family members contended they were never properly compensated for the property they had given up, although they were later given some accommodation by the city after the president's office intervened, and received 900, 000 crowns from the Czech state in an out-of-court settlement after the family took their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Five out of eight family members withdrew their current lawsuit in Usti nad Labem last month, leaving just three plaintiffs in Monday's ruling. The trio had been asking for compensation of 8 million crowns, or roughly 270, 000 euros.
The Temelin nuclear power station has reported a reduction in output on
the first unit following problems with cooling. Temelin staff
reportedly discovered leaks in the generator cooling circuits in the
non-nuclear part of the power station.
The defects may take a week or longer to repair. The second unit is running on full output.
The chairman of the Doctors' Trade Union, Milan Kubek, has revealed
that the unions will organise a token strike unless Health Minister
Milada Emmerova accepts demands to introduce an independent wage scale
system in the health sector. Mr Kubek told journalists on Monday that
he was hoping he would be able to meet with the health minister as
early as next week, and if that failed, to ask Prime Minister Stanislav
Gross for a meeting. The Doctors' Trade Union chairman said that the
lack of progress in talks between the government and the unions last
week led to the decision to increase pressure on the government.
The unions are dissatisfied because 2004 marks the first time since 1998 that health care employees' real incomes have fallen.
A conference in Prague aimed at supporting the Cuban dissident movement has called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. The event, which has brought together several former European and American heads of state and government, is organized by the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba at the initiative of the former president Vaclav Havel. Representatives of several countries at the summit said that their governments should instruct their embassies in Cuba to help those persons who work for the establishment of democratic values on the island. The former Czech president Vaclav Havel described Cuba as a giant prison and called for international mobilization to help bring about change. "We have to ring alarm bells," Mr. Havel said, "with every additional signature and every new conference we make another step towards freedom in Cuba."
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