Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

01-11-2003

Klaus meets with Putin in Moscow

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. On Saturday the two men discussed improving Czech-Russian relations, with Mr Putin stressing the importance of reaching agreement on such points as the outstanding Russian debt to the Czech Republic, inherited from the former Soviet Union. Mr Putin pointed out that both Russia and the Czech Republic had a variety of common interests that remained to be discussed, with Mr Klaus welcoming the opportunity for "rational dialogue". Mr Klaus' visit to Russia is his second this year: in May, at Mr Putin's request, he and 40 other heads of state gathered in St Petersburg to celebrate the city's 300th anniversary. The Russian president is himself a St Petersburg native.

Rath gets confidence vote to continue as president of the Czech Medical Chamber

David Rath, aged 37, has been given a vote of confidence to remain the head of the Czech Medical Chamber, after delegates on Friday voted 156 in his favour, 72 against. Dozens of delegates, however, left the conference room while voting was taking place. The complaint: that the conference had been manipulated. A total of 320 delegates attended on the first day. Meanwhile, the chamber's executive committee was also given a vote of confidence earning a three-year mandate. David Rath dismissed accusations the conference had been manipulated. Instead he highlighted successes that had been reached, including the defence of specialist licences that had been challenged by the Chamber's audit commission. Still, Friday saw six hours of difficult deliberations with sharp exchanges of opinion amongst supporters and opponents of the current leadership. The conference continues on Sunday when Health Minister Marie Souckova is expected to attend.

Czechs get fighter jet offers from five countries

Five countries have offered to sell the Czech Republic a used fleet of 14 supersonic fighter jets from their air force stocks. Sweden, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.S. submitted offers Friday ahead of a deadline set by a Prague government commission. The Czech government decided to seek 14 used fighters from a fellow member of the NATO military alliance to replace the Czech Air Force's Russian-made MiG-21 jets, to be retired in 2005. The used jets will be meant to protect Czech air space until an all-new fleet can be bought over the next five to ten years. Meanwhile, under the current bids, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States each offered to sell older F-16s, while Canada offered its FA-18 Hornets and Sweden Gripen jets. The government's negotiating commission will study the offers and could make a recommendation by the end of November.

First round supplementary senatorial elections won by Civic Democrat Pavel Pavel

Deputy Mayor and member of the right-of centre Civic Democrats Pavel Pavel has won the first round of supplementary elections to the Senate, gaining 28.43 percent of votes in the Strakonice region. The number of votes was not enough to secure a mandate which means the candidate will face his nearest opponent Josef Kalbac in one week's time. Mr Kalbac earned over 18 percent of the ballot on Saturday, just edging the Communist Party's Karel Rodin, in third.

Weather

Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance for some sunny periods. Daytime temperatures should reach 15 degrees Celsius.

01-11-2003