Insight Central Europe News

05-03-2004

Hungary's Prime Minister says his country will respond in kind to labour curbs imposed by current EU members on Central European workers. The EU's 15 current members are currently taking measures to tighten access to their labour markets, fearing a wave of migration after the 1 May expansion. The Hungarian government says it will respond individually to each country's restrictions on its citizens. The restrictions will not apply to the nine countries, which will join the EU at the same time as Hungary.

The South Korean carmaker Hyundai has picked Slovakia as the site for a new million-dollar car plant. The factory, which will open in 2006, will produce up to 200,000 vehicles every year under Hyundai's Kia brand. The north Slovak city of Zilina beat a Polish location in the long-running contest for the investment. Both countries offered incentives for the investment, but Slovakia boasts slightly lower costs for manufacturers.

Poland's minority government has won a crunch vote in parliament on a batch of austerity measures. The two bills are part of plan to cut 14 billion dollars in state borrowing over four years. The government says the cuts are needed to prevent public debt from ballooning after EU entry. Prime Minister Leszek Miller, whose government is 25 seats short of a majority in the 460-seat lower house, has said he will resign if the plan fails to win approval.

A 16-year-old boy has been taken into custody in connection with the stabbing to death of a teacher in a town in east Bohemia this week. The man, who was 64, was stabbed to death in a classroom during a lesson... in what is the first case of its kind in the Czech Republic's history. The motives for the killing were not immediately known. If tried and convicted of murder, the student faces up to six years in prison.

A Slovenian military plane crashed during training on Wednesday, killing the pilot on board. A spokesman for the ministry of defence said the two-seater Pilatus PC9 aircraft crashed in an unpopulated area 20 kilometres to the east of Maribor, the country's second largest city. The reason for the crash is being investigated.

05-03-2004