Insight Central Europe News

14-11-2003

Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller has paid tribute to the first Polish soldier killed in action during an official visit to Iraq. He told Polish troops their mission was essential for the reconstruction of Iraq, despite being costly, painful and "not yet understood" by many people.

Staff at Austrian Federal Railways, the ÖBB, have been striking this week. The Rail Union is protesting against government plans to restructure the organisation and cut back employee privileges.

Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has ruled out the possibility that any state body was involved in the bugging of the Social Democrat MP Josef Hojdar. A listening device was found in the MP's car on Monday.

The Slovak parliament has voted in favour of amending the privatisation law. The amendment eliminates earlier provisions that required that the state to keep a majority stake in key industries. The president still has to sign the bill.

Hungarian and Austrian border guards have broken up two gangs alleged to have smuggled thousands of illegal immigrants into the European Union over the past six years.

Slovenia's President Janez Drnovsek has been holding talks with his polish counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski. The presidents said their countries hold an almost identical stand on the European constitution.

14-11-2003