Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

08-11-2003

Christian Democrats to elect new leadership

The centrist Christian Democratic Party, a junior member of the Czech ruling coalition, is holding its annual meeting this weekend to elect new leaders. The current chairman, foreign minister Cyril Svoboda, has led the party for more than two years and is running for the post again, with slightly higher chances of succeeding than his three rivals.

Army closes down field hospital to reduce costs

The Czech army has closed down its sixth field hospital, which won recognition for its deployment in the Balkan conflict, in Albania, in Turkey ravaged by an earth quake, and especially in Afghanistan where it operated shortly after the ousting of Taliban, and most recently in Iraq. The daily Mlada fronta Dnes quoted Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka as blaming empty coffers. He admitted though that it was a very painful step but said the Czech Republic could not afford to keep three military field hospitals, so it was scrapping one.

Forced Labourers Union to dissolve

The Czech union of WWII forced labourers has decided to dissolve itself after 14 years of existence next June. The union has around 40 thousand members, most of whom are 80 or older. Chairman Karel Ruzicka said at the union's convention on Saturday that the leadership was no longer able to manage such a large organisation. At the same time, there was no one among the delegates willing to take over. Most of the WWII victims of Nazism are receiving full-scale compensation these days. Some members of the union, such as those forced by the Nazis to work in facilities producing the V1 and V2 rockets said they had been associating for years and would not stop after the union dissolves, even though many of them die every year.

US trade mission visits Aero, promises to help find markets

A delegation of US businessmen led by U.S. deputy trade secretary Joseph Bogosian visited Czech aircraft maker Aero Vodochody with the aim of helping the troubled company, in which US Boeing has a decisive influence, to find new markets. Bogosian said that growth is the only answer for Aero Vodochody and the Czech government and the US administration together with Boeing will cooperate to make Aero grow and to find new markets for L-159 planes. Aero Vodochody is already making supplies for Boeing's F-18 jet fighters. However, despite promises, the American investor has so far failed to find markets for Aero's own products, namely the sub-sonic L-159 multi-purpose combat aircraft.

Weather forecast

Sunday should see mostly clear skies. Morning fogs and low cloud formations should dissolve during the day in most places. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 9 to 13 degrees Celsius.

08-11-2003