Daily news summary News

07-12-2004

Polish president calls on Ukraine to focus on presidential election

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has called on Ukraine to focus on the new presidential election and to put other problems such as the resignation of the government and constitutional reforms on the back burner. Speaking during an official visit to Prague, where he arrived just hours after mediating talks in crisis-hit Ukraine, Mr Kwasniewski said the election was the key to unlocking the situation in the country.

The political crisis in Ukraine was one of the main topics of debate with leading Czech officials during President Kwasniewski's one day visit to the Czech Republic. The two countries have traditionally good relations and cooperate closely within the Visegrad Group, a lose alliance of central European states. At Prague Castle President Kwasniewski was decorated with the Order of the White Lion, the highest Czech state distinction.

Nadvornik protests against invalidate senate elections

Jan Nadvornik has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court over the invalidation of the Senate elections in the Prague 11 constituency. Last week the court invalidated the elections on the grounds that the election campaign had been conducted in a dishonest manner, in violation of the election law. This was in relation to a number of slanderous articles against the unsuccessful candidate which were published in the local papers. Jan Nadvornik who won the elections, has protested against the verdict, saying that he was in no way responsible for what the local papers had printed.

Sladek charged with damaging creditors

A state attorney has charged the former ultra right republican leader Miroslav Sladek with damaging creditors. During his years in office, Sladek indebted the party heavily, although according to the police, he must have known that the party would be unable to meet its obligations. It now owes more than 40 million crowns. If found guilty, Sladek could face up to 5 years in prison.

Arms imports on the rise

Arms imports to the Czech Republic have increased nearly fourfold in the past decade. A report, published on Tuesday, says that until 1989 Czech arms exports exceeded imports, but the situation changed radically in the 1990s. Last year the Czech Republic imported over 2,500 revolvers and pistols from Bulgaria, Austria and Ukraine and various types of rifles from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. About a thousand sub-machine guns were imported from Belgium and Switzerland.

Folk singer Zuzana Navarova dies

The well known Czech folk singer and song writer Zuzana Navarova has died at the age of 45. She entered the Czech music scene in 1980, when she set up the folk group Nerez. Fascinated by Latin American music and culture, she studied Spanish and paid frequent visits to that part of the world. Navarova had a devoted audience here in the Czech Republic. She regularly toured the country and has several CDs to her name. In recent years she performed with the group Koa with whom she recorded the popular CD All colours, which won her the 2001 Angel award for folk music from the Czech Music Academy.

Weather:

Wednesday should be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.

07-12-2004