Daily news summary News Saturday, SEPTEMBER 04th, 1999

04-09-1999

Hello and welcome to Radio Prague. I'm Ray Furlong and we begin with the news headlines. M * A new Europe-wide organisation caring for people who survived the Holocaust as children has been set up at a conference in Prague, M * The opposition ODS party has announced a period of debate after its by-election defeat last weekend, M * Premier Milos Zeman has rejected calls to apologise to the former foreign minister he accuses of bribing journalists. M Now the news in more detail.M M M CZECH-HOLOCAUST-CHILDRENM M A new Europe-wide umbrella organisation has been set up at a conference in Prague to fight for the interests of those who survived the Nazi Holocaust as children. The group said its aim is to put pressure on public bodies, the media, and international Jewish organisations dealing with compensation claims to overcome what it says is discrimination towards those who lived through the Holocaust as children. It says this group often lacks the necessary documents and witnesses to prove the persecution it suffered.

CZECH-POLITICS-ODSM M The leadership of the main opposition Civic Democratic Party, or ODS, has said it made mistakes in the campaign for last weekend's Prague by-election to the Senate - where independent candidate Vaclav Fischer received over 70 percent of the vote, soundly defeating the ODS candidate in what's considered a party stronghold. A statement issued by the leadership says the result was an enormous failure by the party. Speaking to journalists, ODS leader Vaclav Klaus said the result meant the start of intensive debate inside the party about the direction it would take in the near future - but he did not react directly to calls by some inside the ODS to stop tolerating the minority Social Democrat government. M

CZECH-POLITICS-CONFLICTM M The Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, has refused to apologise to former foreign minister Josef Zieleniec - who he accused of bribing journalists when in office. On the contrary, Zeman said there were grounds for believing Zieleniec committed criminal acts and abused state funds during his time at the ministry, and that impartial investigations would reveal the truth. On Thursday, Zieleniec called on premier Zeman to apologise for his allegations - because he had been unable to provide any proof since making them. A full report on the affair can be heard after this bulletin of news. M M CZECH-TURKEY-RESCUERSM M A team of Czech rescue workers has returned from Turkey, after two weeks trying to find survivors in the areas hit by last month's earthquake. The team, made up of 19 people and three dogs, M M CZECH-WHEELCHAIR-RECORDM M A Czech man has set a new world record for the distance travelled in an electric wheelchair. Sixty-one-year-old Josef Bartosek travelled 2,105 kilometres in 30 days, completing his journey on Prague's Old Town Square on Friday morning. After receiving a bunch of flowers and a kiss from his wife Tereza, he told journalists he would keep going if he could. He said his marathon around the roads of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria was an attempt to show that disabled people could also achieve great feats.

04-09-1999