Press Review

Most Czech daily newspaper today carry photographs of Czech soldiers from the 43rd mechanised battalion leaving for Macedonia. 400 Czech and British soldiers will the first to be deployed there to prepare a larger NATO mission which will oversee the disarmament of ethnic Albanian rebels.

ZEMSKE NOVINY writes that the heat-wave that has struck the Czech Republic in recent days has provided a reason to celebrate for beverage retailers and swimming-pool owners, but on the other hand, it has brought serious problems for the national railway company. On Wednesday, rails deformed by the heat caused a train to derail near the town of Ceske Budejovice, and there have been delays in train services across the country.

PRAVO cautions its readers against providing too much data to financial institutions. The paper quotes an inspector from the Office for Protection of Private Data as saying that banks and insurance companies request their clients to provide personal data such as degree of education, net family income, type of housing and so on, which have nothing to do with the provision of banking services.

According to PRAVO, clients often do not read the small print and only after signing a contract do they find out that they have given the bank permission to pass on their data to third persons. People should realize that in the world of IT, their personal data is as valuable as gold, PRAVO stresses.

According to MLADA FRONTA DNES, American lawyer Ed Fagan can act only as a witness or advisor in the Czech Republic. Mr. Fagan has been hired by Austrian environmental initiatives to help them shut down the Czech nuclear power station at Temelin. He threatened to file a lawsuit against Temelin's owners, the power utility CEZ, if it does not provide documentation on the plant's safety. MLADA FRONTA DNES points out that Fagan is not licensed as an advocate in the Czech Republic, which means he cannot enter lawsuits in this country.

The business daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY devotes much of the front page to the Czech aerospace industry. The paper reports that the largest Czech aircraft maker, Aero Vodochody, is bidding for a contract worth tens of millions of USD to modernize Russia's fleet of military trainer jets. HOSPODARSKE NOVINY notes that the contract would give the Czech aerospace industry a significant boost as Aero has a large number of suppliers.

While Aero is eyeing Eastern markets, some of the other Czech aerospace companies could be partners in offset programs brought to the country by BAE SYSTEMS and Saab in their bid to equip the Czech army with new fighter jets. The consortium offered offset programs of 150 percent of the value of the potential contract. The government should decide whether it will accept the offer or not by the end of October.