Insight Central Europe News

28-05-2004

Two bags filled explosives were found in the Slovak capital Bratislava on Thursday, in a street close to the venue for a high-level NATO meeting. The bags also contained detonators, although they were not attached. The Slovak interior ministry declined to speculate on a motive or who was responsible. Officials said that the explosives were of Czechoslovak manufacture and dated back to 1991.

Poland's defence minister, Jerzy Szmajdzinski, has strongly denied a report by the news agency Associated Press, suggesting that Polish soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners. He added that Poland would demand to see the US army report, that the agency claims refers to the abuses. Poland currently operates one short-term detention centre in Iraq.

Leaders from 16 central and eastern European countries have called for greater solidarity between European nations. At a summit in Romania on the effects of the eastward expansion of the European Union, they hailed the enlargement, but the spokeswoman for the Romanian president, who hosted the meeting, said that the process must continue further. Romania and Bulgaria plan to join the union in 2007.

Czech police say they have broken up a gang who faked paintings by 19th and 20th century masters worth hundreds of thousands of US dollars. The bogus works were mainly attributed to Czech artists and were sold in auctions and in galleries. Detectives have warned collectors that some fakes could still be in private galleries. Three people have been accused of fraud and could face up to 12 years in prison.

The late Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, who was murdered last September, was commemorated with a monument in Budapest on Friday. It stands on the promenade in City Park named after Olof Palme, the Swedish Prime Minister assassinated in February 1986.

28-05-2004