Press Review

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All Czech daily newspapers today report on the gale-force winds and hailstorms which swept the Czech Republic at the weekend, damaging many buildings across the country, and, sadly, claiming two lives.

PRAVO quotes holiday-makers who camped by a lake near the town of Trebon. "We've just been through hell," they told the paper after a heavy storm destroyed the camp on Friday night. The shocked family was indeed lucky - as many of their neighbours' had their cars and caravans destroyed by falling trees and others had their tents blown away by the gales.

LIDOVE NOVINY writes that all but one large Czech bank have increased their interest rates, both on deposits and loans, in reaction to last weeks hike in rates by the Czech National Bank. Now, clients can expect to get up to 0.3 percent more on their long-term deposits.

Analysts expect the Central Bank to increase the interest rates even more during August to combat growing inflation. Bank clients will then enjoy even higher interest on their deposits - somewhere between 5 and 6 percent. However, as LIDOVE NOVINY points out, people should not get too excited as high inflation will eventually devalue the deposited money.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports in detail on a car stolen in the Central Bohemian town of Caslav. The reason why such a banal story made it to the front page of a nation-wide daily is that the venue was a military airbase and the car carried remnants of the aircraft which crashed last Wednesday near the town of Pelhrimov.

Air Force commanders are outraged by the incident since the wreckage material included an altimeter, which would have been instrumental in finding out the cause of the tragic accident. According to MLADA FRONTA DNES, someone just drove the car off, presenting a false ID card at the gate. Defence minister Jaroslav Tvrdik is quoted as saying that this is just another example of the unbelievable chaos at Caslav airbase.

ZEMSKE NOVINY carries an interview with two Czech decathletes Tomas Dvorak and Roman Sebrle. The two friends will encounter each other at the world athletics championships in Edmonton, Canada. While the former is a triple world champion, the latter is the current world record holder.

Both Dvorak and Sebrle are obviously after the same gold medal and see the other as their greatest rival. There is, however, the prospect that both the gold and the silver will go to the Czech Republic, ZEMSKE NOVINY suggests.