Daily news summary News

28-02-2004

Police confiscate eight million crowns in counterfeit banknotes

The police have confiscated a record eight million crowns in counterfeit banknotes. They found the money as well as goods believed to have been bought by forged money in the home of two brothers whom they caught red-handed. The two men, aged 25 and 27 were arrested in the act of selling forged banknotes to plainclothes officers. One of the suspects had a gun and both were armed with knives. Czech National Bank experts said the forgeries were of good quality. The men face up to 15 years in prison.

Compensation for Czech Nazi slave labourers almost concluded

Almost all Czech Nazi slave labourers have now received compensation from the German Fund for the Future. The Fund's spokesman said this makes the Czech Republic the first country in which the compensation process has been practically completed. An addendum to the German law on compensation enables to extend the group of people eligible for compensation to include those who were subjected to prosecution on racial or political grounds, were forced to emigrate or hide in undignified conditions because of their race or political views. Some 75, 000 people have received compensation to date. Each former forced labourer has been paid 2,500 euros, while concentration camp and Jewish ghetto inmates received 7,500 euros each.

Forwarding firms end strike, threatening more protests

Czech forwarding firms and customs agents ended their one day strike on Friday night, slamming the government's unwillingness to negotiate their demands and saying that a future blockade of the border could come without warning. The strike affected eight of the country's busiest border crossings with Germany and Slovakia, resulting in confusion and long pile ups. However due to early warnings of the strike many truck drivers opted to pass through other check points. The association of forwarding firms and customs agents wants the government to compensate forwarding companies that will have to sack up to 1,500 employees after Czech accession to the EU. The government has refused to do so, saying that it is only prepared to finance re-qualification courses for laid off employees.

President Klaus -protest letter

The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has written a letter to his Austrian counterpart, Tomas Klestil, protesting at statements made by an Austrian Sudeten German organisation. The Austrian Sudeten German Landsmannschaft said it was "surprised" by the recent passing of a Czech law honouring President Edvard Benes, under whom Czechoslovakia's German minority were expelled after World War II. The Sudeten Germans said Mr Benes had brought servitude and 40 years of communism to the Czech nation. In his letter to Mr Klestil, President Klaus said he could not believe the Sudetens' comments.

Weather:

Sunday is expected to be overcast with scatter snow showers and day temperatures between minus 2 and plus 2 degrees Celsius.

28-02-2004