Daily news summary News

16-07-2005

President and PM at loggerheads

The Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek are engaged in a heated dispute over the prime minister's proposal to compensate anti-fascist Sudeten Germans expelled from the country at the end of World War II, despite the fact that they had actively opposed the Nazi regime. The President has slammed the prime minister for planning to re-open sensitive WWII issues. In an interview for today's Mlada Fronta Dnes daily Mr. Klaus said the prime minister was behaving irresponsibly and putting his own interests above those of the Czech Republic. Prime Minister Paroubek countered that Mr. Klaus was inclined to behaving like an absolute monarch. He has, nevertheless, said he would like to meet with Mr. Klaus so that they could try to resolve their differences.

President Klaus outlines his vision of Europe

President Klaus has outlined his own vision of a future Europe. In Saturday's edition of the daily Lidove Noviny, Mr. Klaus says that following the rejection of the European Constitution by French and Dutch voters it is time to abandon the federalist concept and plan Europe's future along different lines. The President would like the European Union to be transformed into an Organization of European States, which would benefit by free trade and movement of capital and labour but not be restricted in their sovereignty. The organizations members would be individual states, not citizens, and these states could act together in their common interests, but there should be no unnecessary "unification" or "centralization" and no compulsory, common ideology, Mr. Klaus says.

Sale of latest Potter book launched at midnight

Czech Harry Potter fans have been crowding bookstores around the country for the sixth volume of the boy wizard series. A number of Prague bookstores which started selling the book at midnight organized fun and games for kids who came in wearing Harry Potter masks and costumes, and a competition for two tickets to London. Interest in the last of the Potter series "Harry Potter and the half-blood prince" is expected to grow when the Czech translation comes out. To date over 1 million Harry Potter books have sold in the country.

Police break up techno party

The police have broken up a techno party near the town of Veseli u Oder. The party started on Friday afternoon on a field in close proximity to the town and the police allegedly got dozens of complaints in the course of the night. The event, attended by an estimated 300 young people was broken up on mid-day Saturday.

Zeman wants to help his party

During an informal meeting with Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, the former Social Democrat leader and ex-prime minister Milos Zeman, said he would like to find a way to support the party in next year's general elections. He said he was not interested in returning to high politics or holding any kind of post but wanted to be useful as a rank and file member. Mr. Zeman, who now lives the life of a pensioner in the Moravian highlands, expressed admiration for the way in which Prime Minister Paroubek had tackled the problems at hand since taking office.

Czechs take too many risks on holiday

Nine Czechs have died while on holiday to Croatia since the beginning of the tourist season. Most of them are young people. The Croat authorities say that Czech tourists are particularly accident prone and are generally inclined to taking risks. Three Czechs drowned in the sea during the last fortnight alone, having swum too far out in spite of the locals' warnings. Two young Czech women are reported to have suffered spontaneous abortions because of staying out too long in the heat of the sun.

Weather:

Sunday is expected to be sunny to partly cloudy with some scattered showers and day temperatures between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius.

16-07-2005