Thursday, June 16, 2011

Radio Prague Today 6.16.2011

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Pundit: trade unions tap into public discontent with state of Czech politics

Thursday's trade union transport strike was the biggest anti-government protest since the fall of communism. The prime minister argues that the cabinet's flagging popularity with the public is the price for pushing through painful reforms. But are the government's far-reaching reforms the only reason for the growing public discontent? And what –if anything – will this strike bring? In this edition of Panorama Daniela Lazarová asked political analyst Vladimíra Dvořáková for her take on developments.

Strike arrives as unions and government fail to find consensus

After months of negotiations between the government and trade unions, and countless demonstrations against government reform measures, the long-feared nationwide transport strike has arrived. On Wednesday representatives on both sides continued to seek a last-minute agreement that might save the country from what is a very infrequent occurrence here – the closure of the rail, bus and municipal transit services. Despite the looming threat, both the government and the unions appeared almost unwilling to budge even hours before the strike began. Christian Falvey has more.

Public mostly in support of transport union protest against government reforms

While Czechs in the big cities struggled to get to work on Thursday, union leaders gathered some 1000 demonstrators in the center of Prague. Sympathizers with the trade union cause joined them in a protest march through the town.