Daily news summary News

10-10-2006

PM to resign on Wednesday

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is expected to resign from office on Wednesday, triggering the fall of his minority Civic Democrat government which lost a vote of confidence in the lower house earlier this month. President Klaus has said he would accept the Prime Minister's resignation but would ask his cabinet to remain in office until a new government can be appointed. Talks will then begin anew on the formation of a new Czech government and President Klaus said on Tuesday that he would start talks with the smaller parties first and then work his way to the big players. The president is not expected to appoint a new prime minister designate until after the local and Senate elections which are to be held on October 21st.

Poll suggests Civic Democrats would win general elections

According to a poll conducted by the Median agency, the Civic Democratic Party would win the country's general elections if they were held today. The poll indicates that the strongest right wing party would gain 39.1 percent of the vote. The Social Democrats would come second with 29.4 percent, while the Communists would finish third with 13 percent. The only other parties which would cross the 5 percent margin needed to win seats in parliament would be the Greens and Christian Democrats with 7.8 and 6.1 percent respectively.

Dalai Lama calls for more effective communication between religious leaders

The Dalai Lama has called for more effective communication between the world's religious leaders as a means of preventing conflicts. Speaking at Forum 2,000 in Prague, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that religion made people better human beings but it was also at the heart of much suffering, bloodshed and conflict and that a clash of civilizations could be prevented by greater mutual respect and open dialogue. The role of religion in the present day was one of the main topics of the Forum 2,000 conference, a gathering of former politicians and cultural leaders in Prague.

Visegrad prime ministers criticize possible delay in Schengen enlargement

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have issued a joint statement criticizing the possible postponement of their entry to the Schengen border-free zone. The statement says that a year long postponement of their admission to the Schengen region would incur considerable expenses in maintaining border security and would threaten the credibility of EU institutions in the newcomer states. The four central European leaders met in the Hungarian town of Visegrad on Tuesday to celebrate 15 years of regional cooperation within the Visegrad Four Group but political instability and upheavals in all four countries have thrown a damper on celebrations by the four leaders whose countries joined the EU in 2004 and who have been pooling their strength since in order to bolster their position as newcomers in the alliance.

Georgians protest outside Russian embassy in Prague

Some twenty young Georgians living in Prague gathered outside the Russian embassy on Tuesday to protest against violation of human rights in Russia and Moscow's support for the separatist Georgian regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The demonstrators said that Russia's military support for the separatist regions could lead to a civil war that would claim thousands of lives. Relations between Russia and Georgia started to deteriorate three years ago when a new leadership adopted a pro-Western policy and strove to weaken Moscow's influence on Georgian affairs.

Weather

The next few days are expected to bring clear to partly cloudy skies with day-time highs reaching 20 degrees Celsius.

10-10-2006