Press Review

Zemske noviny reports on legislation proposed by female MPs from the Social Democrat and Civic Democrat parties, to help reduce the number of abandoned babies. The law would allow all women the choice of giving birth anonymously if they don't want to keep their child. If the law is passed, women will be able to give birth anonymously in all of the country's hospitals. The legislation will hopefully put a stop to women being forced to go through pregnancies without the assistance of a doctor, and also reduce the number of newborn babies being abandoned.

The paper gives a recent example of a newborn baby, whose body was found in a rubbish skip next to a hospital in the town of Hodonin. The autopsy showed that the baby had been born healthy, and the paper says such cases are not rare. The proposed law has already received much support from other MPs, says Zemske noviny.

"Czech Republic Still Cheap Country" reads a headline in today's Hospodarske noviny. The article says that most foreign businesses just across the Czech border profit greatly from their location, as they can make significant savings by buying their supplies in the Czech Republic.

With the exception of dairy products such as butter and margarine, Czech goods are still much cheaper than in the EU, and it therefore pays to import from the Czech Republic. The paper says that a study made by the Czech government concluded that German citizens can pay one Deutschmark in the Czech Republic for something that would cost them close to three Deutschmarks at home.

Today's Lidove noviny marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS. The paper looks at how the disease has spread in the Czech Republic. It says there are currently 511 Czechs living with the AIDS virus. 151 are seriously ill, and 90 have died from the disease so far.

The figures put the country at the bottom of the scale of the world's AIDS statistics. The paper adds, however, that many people don't even know they're HIV positive, and the real number of sufferers could be up to ten times higher.

Pravo reports on a new initiative taken by shadow Defence Minister, Petr Necas: the creation of a shadow army. The plan is to create a reserve army who would be paid when called up. The paper quotes Mr Necas as saying that with the lack of conscripts, the creation of some one thousand active reserves is vital if a professional army is to be considered in the future.

Mr Necas also told Pravo that he wanted volunteers to sign a 2-5 year contract with the Czech army, agreeing that they could be called up for training. In return, these volunteers would receive 500 Czech crowns a month for the period of the contract. During training, volunteers would receive twice the amount that regular reserves receive.