Press Review

The front pages of all the Czech newspapers today carry photos of the smiling face of Tomas Enge - the first ever Czech driver to reach Formula One status and, also taking up most of today's front pages are worrying reports that Prime Minister Milos Zeman is back in hospital with a recurring kidney problem.

PRAVO reports on the good news that Tomas Enge, son of famous racing driver Bretislav Enge, is to replace Brazilian driver Luciano Burti in the starting line-up for team Prost Acer, at Sunday's Formula 1 Monze Grand Prix race in Italy. Enge is the first ever Czech to take part in a Formula 1 race, and the paper is full of praise for this achievement. PRAVO quotes Enge's manager, Antonin Charouz, who parallels Enge's achievement with winning a gold metal for the Czech Republic at the Olympic Games, or space travel.

Prime Minister Milos Zeman was admitted to hospital on Monday, where he will remain for up to a week, to receive treatment for a painful kidney stone condition. Today's PRAVO goes into great detail, outlining the physiological causes and treatment possibilities for kidney stones - complete with diagrams to inform the reader of where exactly the Prime Minister's kidneys are located.

PRAZSKE SLOVO tackles the Prime Mister's ailment with the headline -"Becherovka - can not cure Zeman's illness". It may not be the herbal liquor - Bercherovka, that is the root cause of Mr. Zeman's condition, but the paper points out that all alcohol intake causes dehydration and can therefore aggravate kidney problems. The paper says that Mr. Zeman has not followed the instructions of his doctors and it is this that has worsened his condition. It is well known that Mr. Zeman enjoys the odd drink or two, and combined with his stressful lifestyle and the fact that he is a heavy smoker have all added to his poor health, the paper concludes.

Today's PRAVO writes that members of the main opposition Civic Democratic Party are nervous about ongoing internal conflict within the party. The paper reports that a number of key party representatives have been trying to stab each other in the back. It names Petr Kovarcik as one of the guilty parties, and alleges that he has been trying to form an anti-Ivan Langer block, by saying the party's deputy chairman damages the party's image. The paper also claims Shadow Defence Minister Petr Necas has accused the party's leader, Vaclav Klaus, of showing excessive support for the country's Defence Minister. A further dispute mentioned in the paper involves Ivan Langer and Katerina Dostalova who are both in disagreement over the future of Czech Television. All this, PRAVO says, comes dangerously close to the party's primary elections in November, and means that Mr. Klaus remains almost unopposed.

The front page of today's HOSPODARSKE NOVINY features an article celebrating the recent growth in industrial output. The paper says that despite the fact that industry in the EU has recorded losses, the Czech Republic recorded a growth of 9.3% in July. Experts have attributed this phenomenon to exports and a revolutionary increase in production technology backed by foreign investment. Patria Finance's David Marek agrees and tells the paper that 42% of the profits made by the country's industry comes from exports. The paper warns, however, that this economic miracle may not be long-term, as foreign investment could die down once the sudden rise in new production technology regulates itself.

MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that the Health Minister, Bohumil Fiser, has declared war on alternative medicine. The former scientist's main plan, the paper says, is to make it impossible for those without a medical degree to treat people. The minister has prepared a draft law on the issue, which will be presented in Parliament on Wednesday. The paper adds that the proposed law goes a step further by making all forms of treatment that have not been scientifically proven to work, such as alternative medicine, illegal. This would also include homeopathy and acupuncture which, as the paper points out, are currently being offered by some 2000 healers in the country.