EC President urges speedy action


European Commission President Romano Prodi has urged the Czech government to find a suitable replacement by Wednesday. The Czech government needs to find a strong and capable candidate prepared to meet the challenges ahead, Mr. Prodi said. Only so can it help to diminish the political damage that has been done by this unfortunate incident, he added. During talks with the Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda on Monday the EU Commissioner for Expansion Gunter Verheugen said the incident was perceived as "a bad signal" and could damage the Czech Republic's position in the EU. We strongly advise you to recommend only strong and highly qualified candidates for EU posts in the future, Mr. Verheugen said.