Daily news summary News

21-02-2006

Czech Foreign Minister says EU should demand apology for Moslem violence

The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda wants the EU to demand an apology from Lebanon and Syria in connection with the attacks on Danish embassies by Moslem radicals. The Czech Foreign Minister said that while he did not approve of caricatures which hurt the feelings of believers, the Lebanese and Syrian governments were responsible for the protection and safety of embassies on their territory. The EU should take a joint stand on the matter, Mr. Svoboda said, because a show of disunity or doubt would only fuel Islamic radicalism.

Czechs battling against illegal garbage imports

The Czech Environment Minister Libor Ambrozek wants the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland to consider taking joint steps which would prevent the illegal export of garbage onto their territory from the more affluent EU members. In recent weeks the Czech border regions have been plagued by illegal rubbish dumps of what is obviously German waste. Czech firms are not qualified to import or process foreign waste but the illegal activity continues because there is profit to be had on both sides- for German firms it is cheaper to sell it than dispose of it, Czechs involved in the garbage smuggling make huge profit. Other EU newcomers, such as Poland appear to have the same problem.

Civic Democrats slam health reforms

The opposition Civic Democratic Party says the crisis in the health sector must be dealt with immediately. The party leader Mirek Topolanek said at a press briefing in Prague on Tuesday that the government's irresponsible reforms of the health sector were both destructive for the system and dangerous for patients. Corrective action must be taken without delay, the country cannot afford to wait until the June general elections, Mr. Topolanek said. Private practitioners, dentists, pharmacists and some hospitals have called a protest demonstration against the government's health reforms on Friday. The health minister claims that the situation in the health sector has now radically improved and that Friday's protest is a political gesture orchestrated by the opposition Civic Democrats.

Social Democrats still rallying support for gay marriages bill

Efforts by the Social Democratic party leadership to convince party deputies to vote in favour of a bill which would legalize gay marriage in the Czech Republic have not been entirely successful. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, who has been pushing hard for the bill's approval, said on Tuesday that several of his party deputies remained adamantly against it and that they would be left to vote according to their conscience. Meanwhile, the party has been seeking supporters for the bill across the political spectrum. Following President Klaus' veto of the bill last week, it would need to gain 101 votes in the Lower House in order to become law.

Weather:

Wednesday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered rain or snow showers and day temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.

21-02-2006