Daily news summary News

05-03-2004

Visegrad Four to co-ordinate approach to applying for EU funds

The Visegrad Four countries have signed an agreement on co-ordinating their approach to applying for European Union structural and cohesion funds after they join the Union on May 1. The agreement between the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary came after two days of talks between the countries' representatives in the west Bohemian town of Marianske Lazne.

Second Freedom Union MP quits party

A second MP from the smallest grouping in the governing coalition, the Freedom Union, has resigned from the party. Marian Bielesz announced his decision on Friday, just a few days after Tomas Vrbik quit the Freedom Union in protest at its participation in the Social Democrat-led government. This second resignation will be seen as more bad news for the coalition, which has a majority of just one in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies.

Poll: three quarters of Czechs against sending troops to Afghanistan

Some 75 percent of Czechs are opposed to the sending of Czech troops to Afghanistan, according to an opinion poll released on Friday. The CVVM agency found that only 17 percent of Czechs were in favour of the troop deployment, which is the first time Czech soldiers will face a combat situation since World War II. Around 150 members of the Czech Army's Special Forces are to begin taking part in the United States-led operation Enduring Freedom in the middle of April.

Ambulance staff attacked again

Ambulance staff were set upon by a young man they were taking to a drunk tank on Thursday night, a spokesman for Prague rescue services said on Friday. Two ambulance men were taken to hospital after the attack, though neither was seriously injured. A series of attacks on emergency services workers over the last year has led to some being given self-defence classes and increased security at hospitals.

Czech Republic, Russia agree on settling of Russia's debt

The Czech Republic and Russia have closed negotiations on the non-military part of Russia's debt to the Czech Republic and prepared the terms for the settling of the total debt. The Czech Republic is to receive over 4 billion crowns and supplies of certain products and commodities. These will include special supplies for the Defence Ministry, fuel for Czech nuclear plants and supplies of electricity.

Czech alpinist killed by avalanche in High Tatras, Slovakia

A Czech tourist died on Thursday in the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia after he was buried in an avalanche. The Slovak Mountain Rescue Service recovered his body from underneath a mound of snow on Thursday afternoon in the Mengusovska Valley in the High Tatras. The avalanche was set off by three Czech ski-alpinists, two of whom managed to free themselves. Thursday's fatal accident is the fifth case this year of a Czech alpinist being killed in the mountains.

Middle-aged woman stabbed to death in petrol station robbery

A 50-year-old woman has been stabbed to death in a petrol station robbery in the south Bohemian town of Bruntal, police said on Friday. Some 27,000 crowns, or around 1,000 US dollars, was stolen during the robbery, which took place on Thursday afternoon.

Two Czech footballers named in Pele's list of 100 greatest living players

Josef Masopust - said to be the greatest Czech footballer ever - and current Czech national captain Pavel Nedved have both been included in a list of the 100 greatest living footballers nominated by the Brazilian legend Pele. Mr Masopust and Mr Nedved are the only two Czechs to have been named European Player of the Year, the latter in 1962 - the same year he scored for Czechoslovakia in the World Cup final - and the former in 2003.

Weather

Saturday is expected to be cloudy with snow showers in places. The maximum temperature will be 3 degrees Celsius.

05-03-2004