Daily news summary News

09-05-2004

EC official meets Czech Romany leaders in Ostrava

The chairwoman of the monitoring committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Commission, Josette Durrieu, has had a meeting with representatives of the Romany community in the north Moravian city of Ostrava. After Sunday's discussion, she said Czech authorities had done a lot to improve the situation of Romanies, but a lot more remained to be done. Ms Durrieu also said Czech Romanies needed to decide what they wanted to achieve and take more control of their own destinies.

Prague metro celebrates 30th anniversary

Thousands of people have been attending an open-day at Kacerov metro station, to mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Prague underground rail system. The first Prague metro line ran from Kacerov to Sokolovska station, which is now known as Florence, in 1974. In those days there was only one seven-kilometre metro line with nine stations. Since then the system has been expanded to three lines covering around 50 kilometres.

Sunday also saw an open-day at Prague Castle, with thousands of people availing of the opportunity to see parts of the Castle not normally open to the public.

Prague ceremony commemorates Soviet soldiers who died in World War II

Elsewhere in the Czech capital, around 200 people attended a ceremony at the Olsansky cemetery in memory of Soviet soldiers who died during World War II. Until 1991, May 9 was celebrated in Czechoslovakia - as in Russia - as the end of World War II in Europe. Now it is marked in the Czech Republic a day earlier, on May 8.

Last group of soldiers undergoing military service take oath of allegiance

On Saturday, the last group of soldiers to undergo compulsory military service in the Czech Republic took the oath of allegiance at Prague Castle. The 400 young men made their pledges in front of President Vaclav Klaus, the minister of defence, Miroslav Kostelka, and members of their families. The oath of allegiance ceremony traditionally takes place on the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. When the 400 soldiers complete their military service just before Christmas the Czech Army will have become fully professional.

President accepts resignation of judge appointed to supreme EU court

President Vaclav Klaus has accepted the resignation of Constitutional Court judge Jiri Malenovsky. Mr Malenovsky became the Czech representative at the European Court of Justice on May 1, the day the Czech Republic became a member of the European Union. Based in Luxembourg, the European Court of Justice interprets and implements EU law, and is the Union's supreme legal institution.

Canada face Sweden in final of World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague

Canada are playing Sweden in the final of the World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague on Sunday night. Canada - the defending world champions - beat Slovakia 2:1 on Saturday, setting up a clash with Sweden, who beat the United States 3:2 in the other semi-final.

Gut tips Hlinka to replace Lener as Czech ice hockey coach

Meanwhile, the head of the Czech Ice Hockey Union, Karel Gut, has said the main candidate to replace Slavomir Lener as Czech ice hockey coach is Ivan Hlinka, who has previously led the Czechs to gold in the World Championships and at the Olympics. On Saturday Mr Hlinka, also a former star player for Czechoslovakia, was named a "hockey legend of the Czech Republic" at a ceremony in Prague.

Weather

Monday is expected to be cloudy with rain in places. The maximum temperature should be 16 degrees Celsius.

09-05-2004