Prague - The fate of Czech Republic's interim government, due to take the helm of the European Union and bring the country to October early elections, appeared uncertain Tuesday after two small parties refused to participate.
Two junior partners in Mirek Topolanek's outgoing ruling coalition, the Christian Democrats and the Greens, balked late Monday at a deal their leaders forged with the two biggest parties and bitter rivals, Topolanek's Civic Democrats and the opposition Social Democrats led by Jiri Paroubek.
Prague - Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Monday that he is happy with a deal among rival political parties on a caretaker government led by statistician Jan Fischer that would complete the Czech Republic's presidency of the European Union ending June 30.
Klaus, who is to appoint the next premier, said in a Radio Cesko interview that he is "in principle" satisfied with the deal on the interim technocrat cabinet that would take the country to early elections before October 15.
Prague - The European Union would not be ready any time soon to accept into its ranks the six former Soviet countries that the 27- member bloc hopes to bring closer through its Eastern Partnership initiative, an EU official said Monday.
"Let's understand that the European Union is not ready to accept a single one of those six countries into its ranks," said outgoing Czech Vice-Premier for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra, whose country chairs the EU until June 30.
Prague - Czech rival party leaders agreed Sunday on a new caretaker premier, Czech Statistics Office chief Jan Fischer, whose interim government would complete the country's presidency of the European Union, local reports said, citing party leaders.
The Czech Republic holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency until June 30.
Fischer, 58, would be a newcomer to the world of top-level politics, following a statistics career mostly in public sector and academia.
Prague - The European Union (EU) joined the international community Sunday in strongly condemning North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.
A statement issued by the Czech government, which currently holds the EU's sixth-month rotating presidency, said the North Korean action placed additional strains on regional stability and was contrary to United Nations resolutions.
"These actions place additional strains on regional stability at a time when the unresolved nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula requires mutual confidence building," the EU said.