Insight Central Europe News

08-08-2003

The record-breaking heat wave in Europe is continuing unabated in central Europe. Glaciers on Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner, are melting at a rapid rate, causing mountain streams and brooks to burst their banks. In Poland fire crews have been battling forest blazes and Slovenia's capital Ljubljana has registered temperatures for the 35th day this year.

The main contingent of Polish troops has begun its deployment to Iraq. Poland is to take up command of a security zone in the south of the country, at the beginning of September. Around 2,000 Polish troops are expected to arrive in Iraq and form the core of a 9,000-strong international force.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda has rejected claims by a British magazine, which says the head of the Slovak Intelligence Service intends to hire former communist secret service collaborators. Mr Dzurinda says the articles have been produced by failed intelligence service members.

The Czech Senate has rejected three out of the four candidates for the Constitutional Court proposed by President Vaclav Klaus. Mr Klaus described the upper house's actions as scandalous, and said he would nominate one of the three again.

Animal protection activists are petitioning for 'cruelty to animals' to become part of the Hungarian Criminal Code. They have to collect 50,000 signatures to press Parliament for more stringent animal protection legislation.