A strike planned for Friday by Czech Airlines (CSA) pilots has been called off, after a compromise with CSA management was reached late on Thursday night. The pilots have been negotiating with CSA management for months, in a dispute over overtime pay. After hours of discussion between the two parties on Thursday, a wage increase agreeable to both parties was found. Further details of the agreement will be revealed at a press conference on Friday.
The Association of Driving Schools and car importers plan to show their discontent with the Transport Ministry in the form of a blockade of all roads leading into Prague next Wednesday morning. Earlier this week, representatives of the protesting organisations met with Prime Minister, Milos Zeman and Transport Minister, Jaromir Schling in order to discuss a highly criticised new law on the import of used cars and faulty driving license tests. During the meeting, the formation of a special committee made up of representatives of all sides that would deal with the problem was decided. On Thursday, however, the committee's first meeting was already hindered when representatives of one of the associations of car importers refused to participate as they did not approve of Minister Schling's role in the choosing of the committee's members.
The Czech Republic's public television station, Czech TV, has been fined two million Czech crowns for violating regulations. The country's Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting said that during the Czech TV crisis at the beginning of the year, the station broadcast clips which featured its own rebel journalists, which constituted a breach of regulations. The fine has led to a fresh dispute between Czech politicians, some of whom say the fine was politically motivated. The opposition Four-Party Coalition said that some members of the council were politically biased, and accused them of making political decisions.
September will see the signing of an agreement between the Czech Republic and Slovakia on the creation of a joint army unit which will specialise in peace operations. The unit will be the first joint military unit established since the split of Czechoslovakia. The joint unit is expected to take part in the K-FOR peace-keeping mission in Kosovo from January next year. The Slovak Defence Minister, Jozef Stank, said the initiative would help Slovakia become a fully-fledged member of NATO. The unit, which would be stationed along the Kosovo border, is to be made up of 400 Czech and 100 Slovak soldiers.
The Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, said on Thursday that he understood Austria's concerns over safety at the Temelin nuclear power plant, but stressed that the Czech government still maintained the plant was safe. Mr Kavan was speaking during a European Forum meeting in the Austrian town of Alpbach, on Wednesday. The statement was welcomed by anti-nuclear activists, saying that they were glad to see a Czech government official address the issue and choose dialogue with Austria. However, they said Austria should not soften its critical standpoint on Temelin.
The Czech President, Vaclav Havel, welcomed some 100 Czech diplomats to Prague Castle on Thursday. During their meeting, which takes place every year, Mr. Havel thanked the diplomats for their services. The naming of Czech ambassadors is part of the president's duties. There has been some friction between Prague Castle and the Foreign Ministry in recent weeks, over President Havel's reluctance to sign the appointment of a number of diplomats.
And finally a quick look at the weather forecast. Friday shall have cloudy skies with occasional showers in the South and south-western parts of the country. Temperatures will rise to range between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius in Bohemia and 24 degrees Celsius in the rest of the country. Friday night is expected to have overcast skies with night-time temperatures between 13 and 9 degrees Celsius. Scattered showers shall prevail throughout Saturday with a possibility of thunderstorms later in the day. Temperatures are not expected to rise above 18 degrees Celsius.
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