Czech Republic

Czech police detain former Ku Klux Klan leader on hate crime charge

Czech policePrague  - Czech police reported Friday detaining David Duke, former leader of US extremist group the Ku Klux Klan, on suspicion of denying the Holocaust in a book.

Duke arrived in Prague earlier this week at the invitation of local neo-Nazis to publicize the Czech translation of of 1998 memoir My Awakening.

Police have charged him with denying in the book that the systematic mass murder of Jews and other ethnic groups by Nazi Germany during World War II ever took place, a hate crime in the Czech Republic punishable by up to three years in prison, police spokesman Jan Mikulovsky told the German Press Agency dpa.

New Czech government to be appointed on May

New Czech government to be appointed on May Prague - The interim Czech government of Prime Minister Jan Fischer, which should take the Czech Republic to early elections in October and finish country's presidency of the European Union, is to assume power on May 8, President Vaclav Klaus said Friday.

Klaus and Fischer spoke to reporters after an hour-long meeting in which the premier had informed the president about a make-up of his caretaker cabinet. Fischer said that he would have a complete list of ministers by the end of next week.

EU to hold Czech-chaired summit with South Korea next month

EU to hold Czech-chaired summit with South Korea next monthPrague - The European Union is to hold a summit with South Korea in Seoul on May 23, officials said Tuesday. The meeting will be chaired by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the
27-member bloc.

Acting Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and his visiting South Korean counterpart Han Seung-Soo told reporters the summit would tackle economic issues.

Czech quit UN racism conference after Ahmedinejad speech

Czech quit UN racism conference after Ahmedinejad speech Prague  - The Czech Republic announced Monday evening that it was breaking off its attendance at the UN racism conference in Geneva in protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's anti- Israel speech.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry described as unacceptable his description of the Israeli government as racist. Prague therefore did not wish to lend weight to the "anti-Israeli attacks" of Ahmedinejad by remaining present at the conference.

Czechs admit EU leaders' personal data leak at EU-US summit

Czechs admit EU leaders' personal data leak at EU-US summit Prague - The Czech Republic's presidency of the European Union admitted Saturday there had been a leak of personal data of European leaders who took part at a recent EU-US summit in Prague.

The Finnish news agency STT reported Friday that a computer for use by visitors in a Prague hotel had contained passport numbers and schedules of about 200 leaders from the EU countries, including the Finnish premier and president.

EU invites Lukashenko to Eastern Partnership summit

Prague/Minsk  - The European Union invited on Friday Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko to a Prague summit at which EU leaders plan to launch their so-called Eastern Partnership initiative, aimed at tying six ex-Soviet countries closer to the 27-member bloc, officials said.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country chairs the EU until June 30, delivered the invitation for Belarus while meeting the president, said Schwarzenberg's spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova.

"The invitation is for Belarus and the president is its addressee as the head of state. But we do not have a confirmation that he will arrive," Opletalova told the German Press Agency dpa.