Czechs hope for positive report from the EU

07-11-2000

On Wednesday the European Union will publish its annual reports on the readiness of candidate countries for EU accession. In previous years, the Czech Republic's report card from the EU has had a few black marks, and although improvements have been noted since the Social Democrat government came to power in 1998, issues such as minorities and a lack of judicial system reform have come under fire. This year, though, the Czech government hopes for a good write up, claiming that much progress has been made since last year's report. Optimism within diplomatic circles is riding so high that, according to the country's chief negotiator for EU accession, Pavel Telicka, the Czechs are set to become the frontrunner for membership once more. Earlier, Nick Carey spoke to political commentator Jiri Pehe, and asked him whether he feels that these claims are justified: