Press Review

Almost all of today's papers carry a photograph of former Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, who was sentenced to 46 years in prison on Thursday by the international war tribunal in The Hague for his role in the 1995 Srebenica massacre. The massacre of some 8,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys in Srebenica is described as Europe's worst war crime since the end of WWII.

LIDOVE NOVINY reports on a new right-of-centre party of intellectuals that has been in the offing for about a year and a half now. The party, which translates roughly as "The Path To Change", is expected to be launched in October but is already losing important supporters, the paper writes. The latest to pull out of the party is former student leader and former Czech Radio director, Vlastimil Jezek.

Once one of the most active supporters, Mr Jezek announced on Thursday that he was no longer interested in membership. Mr Jezek says he's pulling out because he didn't believe the majority of his colleagues shared his view that the new party should serve the Czech people. He also plans to apply for the job of General Director of Czech Television.

The golden days of Czech Senators are over, writes PRAVO, explaining that probably the cheapest restaurant in the country - the Senate canteen - is about to see prices rise by 80%. The paper reveals that a bowl of soup currently costs just five Czech crowns (which is about 13 U.S. cents), and a main course costs between 20 and 30 Czech crowns (that's between 50 and 80 U.S. cents). Although MPs have access to five different restaurants in the two parliament buildings, many go to the Senate canteen for tasty food and unbeatable prices.

The paper says that even though Senators receive a monthly salary of 42,000 Czech crowns (a little over 1,000 U.S. dollars) - which is more than three times the national average - they are outraged by the planned increase. The paper quotes the Social Democrat Senator, Ivan Havlicek, as saying that the situation is a vicious circle: Senators are paid out of the state budget and the profits from the sale of canteen food goes back into the state budget. Our hearts go out to them at this difficult time.

MLADA FRONTA DNES warns the people of Prague to take a shower after swimming in the city's lakes. It writes that experts say that many of the lakes found in the city are not as clean as they should be and some even contain toxic substances that may result in skin rashes. Visitors are therefore reminded to read the notices posted by many of the lakes which tell them what to do after swimming in the water. The paper goes on to say that swimming pools are much cleaner than lakes and quotes a city hygiene official as saying that thanks to a new law, the regular testing of swimming pool water is required.

"Police Search For Stolen Millions" reads a headline in HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. It refers to an operation launched by the police last month, sponsored by the EU's Phare programme, concentrating on locating illegally acquired property believed to be worth hundreds of millions of Czech crowns. The paper quotes the head of the economic counter-intelligence service as saying that in cases where there is the lack of evidence to prosecute, the file is forwarded to the Revenue Office. This is because it is often difficult to prove that a criminal offence has taken place. The Revenue Office, on the other hand, can demand to see the paperwork of all property and can, as a result, tax the suspect heavily on it.