Czech TV head in hospital amid resignation calls

04-01-2001

The embattled chief of Czech public television is said to be in serious condition at a Prague hospital amid mounting demands for his resignation and the threat of criminal prosecution against him. Fifty-four-year-old Mr Jiri Hodac has been the focus of a mass strike by television news staffers and protests by tens of thousands of people in Prague and some other cities. The demonstrations were aimed at forcing Mr Hodac to quit. Organisers also wanted parliament to dump members of the Czech Television Council, the politically appointed body that hired him despite widespread allegations about his incompetence. The Hodac managent has indicated its members could offer their resignations if parliament fires the incumbent Czech Television Council. Mr Hodac denies bias and has resisted calls to quit from most politicians, most of the general public, and President Vaclav Havel.