Press Review

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The Czech victory in the ice hockey world cup finals dominates the headlines in all the Czech daily newspapers today. The papers carry triumphant photos of both the champions and crowds of rejoicing fans.

In its editorial, LIDOVE NOVINY points out that the successes in ice hockey have fuelled Czech self- esteem. However, nothing lasts forever and the higher you fly, the harder you fall. It's great to be world champions, LIDOVE NOVINY writes. But it's high time that Czechs look around for other areas on which to build their national pride.

Today's PRAVO reports that NATO will allocate around 130 million USD for the modernisation of the Czech Republic's military airports, the introduction of new information systems, the construction of new radar systems and other infrastructure projects. This is because NATO wants every member to be ready to accommodate a large number of the alliance's units in case of a military conflict.

According to PRAVO, in the next stage NATO wants to modernise Czech civilian infrastructure, including airports, highways, bridges, tunnels and so on so that they can be used for military purposes.

According to today's MLADA FRONTA DNES, the Czech power utility company CEZ is struggling to keep within its budget for putting the Temelin nuclear power station into operation. The paper writes that a year and a half ago, CEZ promised that Temelin would not cost more than 98.6 billion CZK and the Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr vowed to resign if the cost went above that figure.

Even if Temelin doesn't go over budget, there is yet another Sword of Damocles hanging over Mr Gregr's head - the deadline for loading the second reactor with fuel planned for this November. However, despite all the delays in the construction of the first reactor, Mr Gregr is not afraid of losing his seat in the cabinet, MLADA FRONTA DNES writes.

The business daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports that many Czech companies are likely to go bankrupt after the Czech Republic joins the European Union. The main reason is that they will lose their competitiveness as labour force becomes more expensive. This, together with government plans to raise taxes, will send especially small business and sole entrepreneurs under.