Press Review

The front pages of all of today's papers carry photographs of Thursday's bomb attack on a pizzeria in Jerusalem, which left 18 people dead and many more injured. On the home front, two bills approved in Parliament dominate the headlines, with one allowing the disclosure of the files of the former communist secret police, the StB, and the other greatly increasing the amount of money bank clients receive in the event the bank goes under.

Today's PRAVO writes that the Ministry of Transport may end up being sued by numerous clients of driving schools who have failed to pass their driving tests, due to errors on the part of the ministry. The paper reports that the tests produced by the ministry this year contained numerous mistakes. A lawyer tells the paper that those affected will have the right to compensation and, if the case goes to court, may even receive a drivers license.

The paper continues that even Czech Transport Minister Jaromir Schling has admitted that the tests labelled several wrong answers as correct. Driving school teachers informed the ministry about the errors earlier this year and the paper quotes one of them as saying that the number of people who have suffered was not insignificant. He adds that even professional drivers who, in accordance with the law, have to be re-tested every year, had lodged many complaints about the tests being too difficult and even illogical.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports that Czech travel agencies have rejected allegations made by the Czech Statistical Office that they bear a large share of the responsibility for the significant increase in inflation in July. The Czech Statistical Office said that the cost of holiday packages to Croatia and Italy increased by 40% to 50% from the month of June to July.

Two travel agency associations, however, tell the paper that although holiday packages are becoming ever more expensive, there has not been more than a 10% rise in prices over the last year. The paper quotes the spokesman of the Fischer travel agency as saying that the statistical office's estimates were deduced from completely incorrect data.

ZEMSKE NOVINY writes that many Czech grocery stores do not take measures to throw away expired goods. The paper claims that in more than 50 percent of cases, Czech Food and Agriculture Inspection officers find expired goods being sold on the shelves without any notice being given that the goods are passed their sell-by date. The paper warns that in the summer especially, consuming such goods could be hazardous to one's health.

The paper quotes a representative of the National Health Institute as saying that in many cases, a chemical reaction takes place after the expiration date, and some microbiological and enzymatic changes in particular can be deadly. The paper points out that many stores also fail to make note of the expiration dates of the rather popular over-the-counter packaged sandwiches, salads and dairy products. Although the law allows the sale of expired goods, it is only under the condition that the consumer is informed of this fact, and that the goods are displayed in a separate area, ZEMSKE NOVINY concludes.