Insight Central Europe News

07-11-2003

The Polish armed forces suffered their first combat death since World War Two when a Polish major was fatally wounded in an ambush south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Poland has 2,400 soldiers in Iraq and was among the strongest supporters of the U.S.-led war to remove Saddam Hussein.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda says his country can learn a lot from Ireland's economic success. During a meeting with his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern, Mr Dzurinda said Ireland once faced similar problems to Slovakia but had gone through an economic boom as an EU member.

Czech police are holding three men who attempted to smuggle 2.5 kg of the plastic explosive Semtex into Austria. Experts said the amount was enough to bring down an aircraft. As well as the Semtex the men were also carrying fuses, a gun and a knife.

The Presidents of the Visegrad countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary - have allayed fears that the group may break up once all countries were in the EU. Meeting in Budapest the Visegrad Four committed themselves to joint projects on economy, culture and education.