Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

16-02-2004

Prime Minister threatens reciprocal action

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has protested against the Netherlands' decision to give Czechs only limited access to its labour market after the country joins the EU in May of this year. Originally, the Dutch government promised a liberal policy on this issue but had a last minute change of mind last week. During a meeting of the two countries heads of government in Prague on Monday the Czech Prime Minister said he could not rule out reciprocal action.

High level of toxins in blood samples evoke concern

Blood samples from people living in the vicinity of the Spolana chemical plant north of Prague have reportedly revealed a high level of toxic substances. The Czech branch of Greenpeace, which has long accused the chemical plant of seriously damaging the environment, said the level of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls in the mentioned blood samples was alarming. The report has evoked serious concern among the locals but the Health Ministry has attempted to dispel fears saying that the results were well within the norms set by the WHO and did not present a health hazard. The government ordered the blood tests after previous tests revealed a contamination of the soil and farm animals living in the vicinity of the chemical plant. Greenpeace claims that a lot of toxic substances were released into the environment during the 2002 floods.

Popular Czech actor dies of leukaemia

Miloslav Simek, a popular Czech actor and TV personality, has died of leukaemia at the age of 63. Mr. Simek was best known for his intellectual humour and ability to improvise. He was a leading member of the Semafor and Jiri Grossman theatres in Prague.

Refugees found imprisoned in villa

A group of 26 illegal refugees were found imprisoned in a Prague villa. The police arrived on the spot when a local informed them that someone inside the house was calling for help. The police arrived on the scene to see several Asian girls holding an SOS sign in one of the windows of the villa. After forcing their way in, the police found 26 Asians all without documents and barefoot. The owner of the house claims she had no idea who had locked them in. The matter is being investigated.

Weather:

Tuesday is expected to be cloudy to overcast with scattered rain showers and day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.

16-02-2004