A group of 44 Czech tourists that crashed while in transit on a tourist bus in Germany on Tuesday, have returned to the Czech Republic. The tourists arrived in the Moravian town of Brno early Wednesday morning after being picked up by a replacement coach sent by the tourist agency. Tuesday's crash occurred near the German town of Heilbronn, in the province of Baden-Wurtetembersk, killing the coach driver and injuring twenty. The twenty passengers suffered only minor injuries, and were treated at a local hospital. The incident was caused when the Czech coach crashed from a behind into a transport truck, while trying to pass another vehicle. The crash is the latest in a series of bus accidents that have marred Czech tourist transport over the last eleven years. Since 1990 there have been sixteen Czech bus crashes involving passenger fatalities in nearby and neighboring countries, including Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, and France. In Germany alone Czech coach accidents have resulted in ten passenger fatalities since 1990.
The international monetary fund has downgraded its prognosis for Czech economic growth from 3.9 to 3.5 percent in 2002. Its estimate for this year remains at the level of 3.3 percent GDP growth. The IMF has repeatedly warned against a growing deficit of public finance and recommended the Czech government to tighten its fiscal policy. However, the Czech ministry of finance has defended government policies, saying the high deficits have been caused by dealing with past debts.
The Prague city council is planning to repeat last year's donation of 300 000 Czech Crowns to the Ukrainian city of Kiev, for that city's poor, handicapped, and orphaned children. Money is expected to go towards buying foodstuffs, toys, arts and school supplies, and children's clothing and footwear. The donation is expected to be handled by the non-profit organisation Help the Children of the Ukraine, which is concentrated on aiding children between the ages of 3 and 15.
And finally a look at the weather. Wednesday will be mild and partly cloudy, with fog in some places in the morning, and the chance of showers increasing in the afternoon. Temperatures during the day will rise to highs of seventeen degrees Celsius. Temperatures at night will fall to lows of five degrees.
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