Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

09-09-2003

Campaigner for Czech freedom Pavel Tigrid buried in France

The funeral was held near Paris on Tuesday of the writer, politician and broadcaster Pavel Tigrid, who died recently at the age of 85. Mr Tigrid, regarded as one of the most important Czech personalities of the 20th century, campaigned in exile on behalf of freedom movements in Czechoslovakia from the late 1930s until the fall of the Iron Curtain. After the Velvet Revolution he served as an advisor to President Vaclav Havel and was culture minister from 1994 to 1996. Mr Tigrid was also a tireless promoter of Czech-German relations. His funeral was attended by Mr Havel, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda and other Czech dignitaries.

Egypt interested in buying Czech-made fighter planes

Egyptian officials have told the Czech prime minister, Vladimir Spidla, that Egypt is interested in buying fighter planes made by the Czech company Aero Vodochody. After talks in Cairo on Tuesday, the Egyptian defence minister, Mohamed Tantawi, said he and Mr Spidla, who is in Egypt on a three-day visit, had discussed all aspects of military co-operation between the two countries.

Civic Democrats preparing to force vote of no confidence in government

MPs from the opposition Civic Democrats have begun preparing a proposal which could lead to the governing coalition facing a vote of no confidence within the next two weeks, the leader of the party's group in the Chamber of Deputies, Vlastimil Tlusty, said on Tuesday. No members of the Social Democrat-led coalition, which has a majority of one in the 200-seat lower house, have indicated they will vote with the Civic Democrat and Communist opposition.

Points system for drivers who break law could be introduced next year

A points system for punishing errant drivers could be introduced next July, the Transport Minister Milan Simonovsky said on Tuesday. He is to put the proposal to the cabinet next month as part of an amendment to the law on infrastructure. Drivers would lose their licences for one or two years if they picked up a certain number of points. Furthermore, the police would be able to temporarily confiscate on the spot the licenses of drivers found to have been drinking or to be on drugs.

Bulgarian man gets eight years for threatening to poison drinks

A Bulgarian man has received eight years in prison from the Prague Municipal Court for repeatedly threatening the Czech branch of the drinks maker Coca Cola. Anastas Stanev threatened to poison the company's drinks unless he received a payment of five million crowns.

Border town bans government officials in effort to cut bureaucracy

The town of Jindrichovice pod Smrkem near the Czech-Polish border has erected signs saying government officials may not enter the town. The signs went up a week after the local council passed legislation banning state officials from entering the town on government business. Mayor Petr Pavek says local officials will not now have to waste time satisfying Prague-based government agencies. However, the law does not cover teachers, postal workers, emergency workers and other "essential" civil servants.

Footballer Galasek fit for Czech Republic's game of the year

There was good news for the Czech football coach, Karel Brueckner, on Tuesday when midfielder Tomas Galasek passed a fitness test ahead of an important game against the Netherlands in Prague on Wednesday night. The game is the Czech Republic's second last in their campaign to reach next year's European Championships, and a win would guarantee them qualification.

Weather

Wednesday should be a cloudy day with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to range from 15 to 22 degrees Celsius.

09-09-2003