Czech Republic

Czech president backs Turkey's EU bid

Czech president backs Turkey's EU bid Prague  - Czech President Vaclav Klaus, whose country chairs the European Union until June 30, Wednesday backed Turkey's aspirations to join the 27-member bloc.

"I would like to repeat and resolutely and loudly say that the Czech Republic is on the side of those who support Turkey's entry to the EU," Klaus said after meeting his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Prague.

Albania applies for EU membership

Albania applies for EU membership Prague - Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha submitted Tuesday his country's application for membership in the European Union, an initial step on Balkan state's long journey to the 27-member bloc. Berisha handed over the application to Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country chairs the EU until June 30.

The Czech Republic's EU presidency is to pass Albania's membership request to the council of the EU member states for consideration.

EU 'underestimates' Iran threat, Czech premier charges

European UnionTel Aviv - The European Union "underestimates the Iranian threat," Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said in remarks quoted Sunday. In an interview with the Ha'aretz daily as he wrapped up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Topolanek, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, added however that he believed that "at this very moment, there is no imminent threat of a war between Israel and Iran."

Israel regards Iran as its biggest existential threat, given Tehran's nuclear programme, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated statements that the Jewish state should be wiped off the map.

US Ku Klux Klan ex-leader ordered to leave Czech Republic

Prague, CzechPrague - Czech police said Saturday they had released David Duke, former leader of US extremist group the Ku Klux Klan, and ordered him to leave the Czech Republic by midnight. On Friday, police charged Duke with the hate crime of supporting and promoting movements suppressing human rights.

Duke had planned to give talks this weekend in the capital as well as in the country's second largest city of Brno. He is visiting the Czech Republic at the invitation of local neo-Nazis to publicize the translation of his 1998 memoir, My Awakening.

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.

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