Daily news summary News Saturday, JULY 03th, 1999

03-07-1999

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail:

Cabinet faces criticism

Czech premier Milos Zeman has been severely criticized for his Cabinet's performance in its first year in office. The Lower House rejected the premier's report on the state of government as insufficient and the house approved a resolution saying that the present government was detrimental to the state of Czech society. It did however stop short of approving a resolution asking the Cabinet to resign. Meanwhile, premier Zeman, who had promised to sack any incompetent ministers after a twelve month period of grace , which is due to expire on July 22nd, has yet to announce any planed changes to the cabinet set up. Zdenek Vojir, a leading senator for the Social Democrats told newsmen today he believed Zeman had no intention of firing anyone.

Czech Helsinki Committee issues protest

The Czech Helsinki Committee has officially protested against the death penalty imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The statement, issued in Prague on Friday, said that Turkey was violating the European Covenant on Human Rights and pointed out that, if carried out, the verdict would only lead to a serious escalation of tension between the Turkish population and the Kurdish minority. The verdict has brought threats from PKK guerrillas to spread fighting throughout Turkey with attacks on strategic targets.

Karlovy Vary Film Festival opens

The renowned spa town of Karlovy Vary is decked in finery for the opening of the 34th Karlovy Vary Film Festival in several hours' time. Over the next 9 days visitors will be able to chose from over 200 films. Traditionally, the opening night is something of a social occasion, with foreign and Czech guests arriving in horse drawn carriages. Among the guests of honor this year will be Speaker of the Lower House Vaclav Klaus and culture minister Pavel Dostal. President Havel is expected to attend the closing night.

Slovak president expected in Prague

It has been announced that Slovak president Rudolf Schuster will pay a one day official visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday July 7th. It is the Slovak president's first foreign visit since taking office and according to official Slovak sources it is primarily intended to bring about an improvement in bilateral relations. President Schuster will meet with Czech leaders to discuss the political situation is Slovakia, the division of federal property ,which is yet to be completed, and means of revitalizing trade between the two former sister states. The president will be accompanied by Slovak foreign minister Eduard Kukan.

Euro skeptics meet in Prague

Euro-skeptics from across the Old Continent have descended on Prague for a three day conference on the limits of the European integration process. Participants from 15 states, who have reservations regarding plans for a federal Europe, are discussing issues of European security, environmental problems and the newly emerging barriers between the eastern and western Europe. Civic Democratic Party leader Vaclav Klaus, who is known as a Euro-skeptic, has not been able to attend the opening and has had to content himself with sharing his views on European integration with delegates to the Economic Summit of central and eastern Europe , organized by the World Economic Forum in Salcburg . In his address, the Speaker of the Lower House also criticized the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as a grave mistake.

Weather

It should be a very hot weekend with day temps between 25 and 29 degs on Saturday and 27 and 31 degs on Sunday. So drink plenty of beverages, lather yourself with sun tan lotion and enjoy it. Expect no relief from the heat on Monday since temps are expected to remain around the 30 deg mark well past mid-week.

03-07-1999