Press Review

Today's newspapers are full of reports on what's happening in Prague during the IMF/World Bank session. Almost all of them feature photos of three young men, two Poles and one American, who on Monday chained themselves to the highest bridge in Prague, Nuselsky most, which leads to the Congress Centre, where the session kicked off on Tuesday. Also featured in today's papers is the singer of the Irish rock band U2, Bono, who came to Prague with an appeal to cancel all debts of the world's poorest countries. But in the morning the newspapers were anticipating what would happen during the day. "The financiers start their session with loaded pistols" or "Tuesday may bring surprises to the streets of Prague" were some of the headlines on the front pages.

Away from the IMF and LIDOVE NOVINY says that the Czech police have detained a 13-member gang based in northern Moravia which was about to circulate forged money. The amount of forged money was tremendously high: it could have reached half a billion Czech crowns, around a million US dollars. According to the police, the group had been working on their plan for more than a year, and they had successfully used several fake 100-US-dollar bank notes. The forgers ordered the bank notes from a forgery workshop abroad and paid 18 percent of their nominal value for them. The group includes one women and one Slovak citizen. Most of them have been taken into custody as the investigation continues, reports LIDOVE NOVINY.

MLADA FRONTA DNES today features an amazing story about an historical portal stolen from the front of a building on the busiest street in the Moravian city of Brno. The famous Brno portal was built between the two wars in a functionalist style. The police have found out that the portal must have been stolen within a very short time while the house was being renovated. The building firm said it had to remove the portal but that it would bring it back as soon as the renovation work was finished. However, they later reported to the police that the precious piece had been stolen. One of the investigators, however, believes that stories of the theft could be fictitious.

And finally, PRAVO features a picture from a blockaded border check point in Chotebuz on the Czech-Polish border, where Polish truck drivers have been protesting against the long waiting times before they are let into the Czech Republic. There are now some 400 trucks standing on the road leading to the check point. Czech customs officers say they are able to inspect some six hundred trucks a day, but they are well aware of the fact that a new check point with the same capacity should be opened. The Polish protesters said they would not disperse until they are allowed to negotiate with the Czech and Polish authorities.