Press Review

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Letter bomb dispatches continue being sent to people involved in one way or another with the H-System building firm. The firm had promised its clients new houses and even collected money, but instead not a single brick was laid and the money has never been returned. All the Czech papers today feature the news about an eighth letter bomb that reached lawyer Premysl Raban on Monday. According to MLADA FRONTA DNES Raban is defending several H- System repreprentatives.

The parcel arrived on Monday at the lawyer´s office, but fortunately Raban´s colleague noticed several wires and a battery when a secretary began opening it. MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that also involved in the affair are two advisors to the Prime Minister Milos Zeman, both of whom 8 years ago worked for a Cite firm, closely allied with H-System. The company were offering houses to Czech emigrants in South Africa who wanted to return home. This may be futher proof of influencial people being involved in dirty businesses, concludes MLADA FRONTA DNES.

PRAVO writes that the lack of organ donors has been slowing down the rate of transplant operations in the Czech Republic. The paper writes that over the past five or four years the number of deceased human organs donors has been dramatically decreasing. As a result, many patients on the waiting list do not survive long enough to receive a donated organ.

Doctor Eva Pokorna from the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague told PRAVO that last year alone there were 150 patients waiting for heart transplant operations and 1,300 for a new kidney, but due to the lack of donors, 86 of them died. According to doctor Pokorna, the highest annual number of transplant operations was in 1997 - a total of 612. Since then, though, the number has been dropping constantly.

"Czech haulage companies fear driver exodus," announces today´s LIDOVE NOVINY. The paper writes that while German and Austrian trade unions are afraid of a massive influx of cheap labour after the first candidate countries join the European Union, some Czech firms have the opposite problem. German companies have already shown an interest in recruiting Czech professional drivers while their employers in this country are worried about losing them.

Germany has been struggling with a shortfall of professional drivers in the truck haulage industry and some companies have been trying to obtain work permit for drivers from East European countries. The German government is allegedly considering issuing a so-called ´green cards´ for drivers, writes LIDOVE NOVINY.

And staying with cars - ZEMSKE NOVINY informs that while owning a car can be a great financial burden at the moment, it might be even more difficult in the near future. All of us will have to pay more, but especially those whose cars do not have cathalytic convertors. All this because the Finance Ministry is preparing an amendment to the road tax. The higher tax will affect not only entrepreneurs, as was the case till now, but all car and motorcycle owners. The more you polute the air, the more you will pay - that's the nature of the amendment, writes ZEMSKE NOVINY.