Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

27-05-2001

* The Christian Democrats elected Cyril Svoboda as their new party chairman,

* Austrian and German representatives discuss Temelin and EU enlargement,

* The far-right National Social Block, has filed criminal charges against the Prague Jewish Community.

Christian Democrats elect new chairman

During their national party conference held on Saturday, the Christian Democrats elected Cyril Svoboda as their new party chairman. Mr. Svoboda, who is also the former leader of the Four-Party Coalition, to which the Christian Democrats belong took over from Jan Kasal. Speaking to some 300 delegates during the conference, Mr Kasal apologised for the slow development that the party had witnessed in recent months and said that the Christian Democrats needed to put all their strength into re-gaining the trust of the Czech people. He added that he envisaged the party as hard-working and self-confident. Mr Svoboda in turn said that the party needed to focus on the rule of law, a social free market economy, and education and expressed his opposition to homosexual registered partnerships and euthanasia and

Austria and Germany discuss Temelin and EU enlargement

During a two-day official trip to Austria, the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his Austrian counterpart, Wolfgang Schussel discussed Austria's reservations to the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia and EU enlargement. At a press conference in Vienna, Mr. Schussel told reporters that both Chancellors agreed that the question of neighbouring nuclear power stations, including Temelin, needed to be taken seriously and ought to be handled by the European Commission and the countries affected. Mr. Schussel added that Austria was asking the Czech Republic to be considerate and assure Vienna that Temelin enjoyed high safety standards. Chancellor Schroeder said that he wanted to stress the fact that Germany's goal was not to dictate to other countries how they should produce their energy but just to make sure that all border-area nuclear power reactors were safe. Both Chancellors said they were in favour of EU enlargement, adding that they hoped the problems that had arisen from their proposal of a seven-year transition period regarding the free movement of labour would be solved at the EU summit in Sweden.

NSB files charges against Jewish community

The far-right National Social Block, or NSB, has filed criminal charges against the Prague Jewish Community. The NSB's chairman, Jan Kopal, said the charges were filed in reaction to a recent public declaration by the Jewish community calling for a nationwide fight against neo-Nazis. Mr Kopal claimed the call was alarmist and added fuel to the fire of racial intolerance. The NSB is a new political party, formed from a number of far-right groups. It claims to have some 3,000 members, and is supported mainly by neo-Nazi skinheads.

Border police retain close to 100,000 Ecstasy pills

The Czech border police have ceased close to 100,000 Ecstasy pills headed for Canada. Police say the 25 kg load is believed to have been the biggest ever attempted to be shipped out of the Czech Republic. Here, the pills would have been worth about 35 million Czech crowns, or 624 000 U.S. dollars, whilst in Canada they would have been sold for more than three times that amount.

Weather forecast

And finally, a quick look at the weather. Saturday night will be partially cloudy with temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius. Sunday shall also see partially cloudy skies but with occasional showers. Day-time temperatures will range between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius.

27-05-2001