Austrian environmentalists have blocked a highway near the Czech-Austrian border in protest against the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. Temelin has strained relations between the Czech Republic and Austria over the past year. In December, the Austrian and Czech prime ministers agreed to carry out an environmental impact study into Temelin to address Austrian safety concerns. The study published by the Czech side states that Temelin poses a minimal risk to the environment. But Austrian environmentalists say the report is incomplete and invalid, and on Friday afternoon a group of activists blocked the highway leading to the Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste border crossing in protest. The highway was blocked about a kilometre away from the border on the Austrian side for about half and hour.
Foreign Minister Jan Kavan says there will be no haggling with the EU on the free movement of labour and Czech property rights. The free movement of labour within after European Union expansion is a highly sensitive area for some EU member states, in particular Germany and Austria. Several EU politicians have therefore proposed that a transition period of up to 7 years be imposed to prevent workers from candidate countries working in current EU member states. The candidate countries oppose the idea of a transition period. Foreign Minister Jan Kavan said on Friday that the EU legislation chapter on free movement will not be linked to the purchase of property in the Czech Republic, which is a sensitive issue for the Czechs. Mr. Kavan denied rumours that the government would cut a deal on the two issues, saying that they were completely separate.
Poland has given its permission for Czech trucks carrying butter to cross Polish territory on their way to Russia. Some of the trucks waiting to travel to Russia have been held up the border since last week, due to a ban in Poland on the import of dairy products from other countries in light of the foot-and-mouth crisis in Britain. After Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman apparently intervened in the matter, the Polish Agriculture Ministry gave its permission on Friday for the trucks to cross Poland on their way to Russia.
Czech Public Television has fired the head of news at its Brno offices, Jiri Sindar, after he allegedly announced plans to work with the former editor-in-chief of an anti-Semitic magazine. The head of Czech Television's Brno studios said that this would have offended a great many people and that Mr. Sindar simply had to go. Mr. Sindar has so far refused to comment on his dismissal.
Allegations have arisen that the chief defence lawyer of Anton Malloth, who faces charges dating back to when he was a guard at the Nazi concentration camp in Terezin in Central Bohemia, has connections to Nazi activists, both old and new. According to the German newspaper Suudeutsche Zeitung, Mr. Klaus Goebel is closely linked to an organisation that provides financial aid to former Nazis. Mr. Goebel has denied having any links with this organisation, but the paper says it has proof that he has been involved with its activities for many years.
Saturday should see cloudy to overcast skies with scattered showers in places. Daytime high temperatures are expected to reach twenty degrees Celsius. Night-time lows on Friday are expected to drop to four degrees Celsius.
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