Czech Republic

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.

EU to examine Germany's genetically modified corn ban

EU to examine Germany's genetically modified corn ban Prague - The European Commission plans to examine Germany's move to ban genetically modified maize but is unlikely to pressure Berlin into reversing its decision, EU officials said Wednesday.

Germany on Tuesday joined the ranks of the European Union countries that have banned the MON 810 maize produced by the US biotech firm Monsanto over safety concerns, despite opposition from the European Commission.

Two die in Czech coking plant blast

Two die in Czech coking plant blastPrague - Two workers were killed and one injured on Thursday in a blast in a coking plant in the north-eastern Czech Republic, the plant owner said.

The men, aged 51 and 55, were doing maintenance work on an ammonia water tank which exploded for an unknown reason, said company spokesman Vladislav Sobol.

Another worker suffered a broken hand which was believed to have been hit by a tank shard, he said.

The cause of the blast, which was not immediately known, is under police investigation.

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