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10-12-2006

Cunek wants Social Democrats in government

The newly elected leader of the Christian Democratic Party Jiri Cunek says he wants a coalition government which would include the Social Democrats. Mr. Cunek said he would have preferred a four-party coalition involving the Greens but since that no longer seemed possible he would push for a deal with the Civic and Social Democrats. "The agreement on a future government must receive backing from the entire Social Democratic Party, not just rely on a number of turn-coats," Mr. Cunek told journalists.

Christian Democrats divided over Cunek's election

Mr. Cunek's election to the post of chairman has divided the Christian Democrats, some of whom see him as a highly controversial figure. The new party leader has fought off accusations of racism in recent weeks after evicting several hundred Roma rent-defaulters from the centre of Vsetin. However Jiri Cunek's supporters vastly outnumber his critics and they expect his election to give the party new impetus and possibly take it in a new direction. Many see him as a decisive and pragmatic politician who will boost the party's flagging credit ratings.

Politicians welcome Cunek's election

Overall, politicians from rival parties have welcomed Mr. Cunek's election to the post of chairman. Pavel Bem, deputy chairman of the Civic Democrats, said he saw this as a step in the right direction. Zdenek Skromach, deputy chairman of the Social Democrats said Mr. Cunek's election was good news above all for the Christian Democrats since it would give the party a chance to recover from its slump. And Communist Party leader Vojtech Filip is hoping that Mr. Cunek's pragmatic attitude may help the Christian Democrats overcome their long-standing aversion towards the Communist Party. Political analysts are careful in their predictions but several have expressed the belief that Mr. Cunek's election could improve the party's ties with the Social Democrats.

Foreign Minister says EU should be more benevolent to Serbia, Turkey

The Czech foreign minister Alexanader Vondra wants to appeal to the EU to show greater benevolence to Serbia and Turkey. At a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday the Czech delegation is planning to stress the need for Serbia to receive a positive signal from the EU ahead of its parliamentary elections in January. "Serbia should know that Europe has not abandoned it and that the EU supports the democratic forces in the country" the Czech foreign ministry's spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova told the CTK news agency. Brussels broke off accession talks with the Serb Republic for allegedly not doing enough to apprehend war criminals.

Aneta Langerova voted singer of the year

Aneta Langerova has been voted singer of the year in the Czech Nightingale Awards held on Saturday night. Langerova, the winner of the Czech Republic's first ever pop idol, defended last years title of best woman singer, beating Lucie Bila who was top of the ladder for several year in a row. In addition to that the young Langerova received the overall Czech Nightingale award - as singer of the year - a title that usually goes to the Czech singing legend Karel Gott. Mr. Gott received the best male singer award. Lucie Bila who came second in the women's category said she would work so hard next year she would make sparks fly.

Weather

The next few days are expected to be partly cloudy with some rain and daytime highs reaching 6 degrees Celsius.

10-12-2006