Insight Central Europe News

22-07-2005

It has been confirmed that a third Polish citizen died in the London bombings on July 7th. Earlier Karolina Glueck, aged 29, and Monika Suchocka, 23, were named among the dead. The third victim is 43-year-old Anna Brandt, who had been reported missing after the attacks. All three women had been living and working in the city.

The Czechs and Poles will press for a quick compromise on the European Union's budget, the two countries' prime ministers agreed at a meeting in Prague on Thursday. At the same time they said that they recognised the need for wider economic reform. Both countries are keen to see a quick agreement on the budget, as it would increase aid they get for infrastructure and other projects from EU coffers. The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said that they had agreed to put forward a common Czech-Polish message on reforms.

The Austrian army is to send a contingent of 93 soldiers to Afghanistan. An advance group of 11 has already been sent to Kunduz, 350 kilometres north of Kabul. Most of the rest of the team will follow in the first week of August. Their main task will be to support reconstruction teams during the election planned for September 18th. 170 Austrian soldiers have so far served in Afghan missions.

The Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic has said that Slovakia wishes to keep its soldiers in Iraq. At a meeting with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard B. Myers, in Bratislava he said he was convinced that despite the deaths of three Slovak soldiers in Iraq and an attack on the Slovak Embassy in Baghdad, Slovakia should maintain its commitments, which he said, stemmed from the country's membership in NATO.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister, Phan Van Khai has thanked his Hungarian counterpart, Ferenc Gyurcany, for his support of Vietnam's bid to join the World Trade Organisation. Speaking after a meeting in Hanoi, Mr Gyurcsany said that Hungary would help Vietnam to penetrate European markets. Both agreed that the Hungarian prime minister's visit to the country should help to boost mutual trade, which increased significantly last year.

Slovak Radio's supervisory body has decided that Radio Slovakia International is to continue broadcasting on shortwave. This reverses a decision by the public service broadcaster to close shortwave broadcasts and reduce staff. Slovak Radio's director said that because of budget shortfalls, this situation will not be sustainable for long, and that it is now up to the state authorities to express whether they are interested in keeping a foreign broadcast service.

22-07-2005