Press Review

Most of the daily papers today carry news of rising inflation and unemployment in the Czech Republic. There is also continued coverage of Czech decathlon star Tomas Dvorak's gold medal at the World Athletic Championship in Edmonton, Canada.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports on a missing Belgium family that were last seen vacationing near the Moravian town of Brno. The body of a man that is believed to be the missing Belgian, Stephan Knaepen, was found on Wednesday. Police do not suspect foul play, saying the deceased had left a suicide note. There is no word yet on the whereabouts of the man's 12-year-old niece and 10-year-old nephew.

LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the former owner of the Czech Republic's IPB bank is suing the government for 40 billion Czech crowns. The Japanese company Nomura claims that the Czech government breached an agreement on protection of investments. In a controversial move, the Czech government sold IPB to another Czech bank, CSOB, following the imposition of forced administration on IPB a year ago.

MLADA FRONTA DNES also reports on the police investigation into the accidental shooting in Melnik, a town near Prague. A police officer shot and killed a pedestrian several weeks ago while attempting to stop a stolen car. Investigators re-created the crime scene on Wednesday to verify the police officer's account of the shooting.

PRAVO reports that Czech vets have not yet received their allocated 36 million Czech crowns to test cattle for BSE, or mad-cow disease. Vets have been told to test all cattle over 30 months for BSE, following the country's sole confirmed case earlier this year. The Ministry of Agriculture commented that the testing would cost an estimated 155 million Czech crowns, and that the State Veterinarians Association should receive their promised money by the end of the month.

And finally, HOSPODARSKE NOVINY writes that airport "duty free" shopping may very well become a thing of the past. The European Union wants the shops discontinued as early as next year, in accordance with Union norms. The Czech Parliament is expected to deliberate on the "duty free" shops in the fall. The vote is not expected to be unanimous, as several key Senators have indicated that they would like to hold on to "duty free" shopping until 2003, the expected date of the Czech Republic's accession into the European Union.

Author: Helen Belmont
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