Press Review

Today's ZEMSKE NOVINY reports on the current popularity of the Barrandov Film studios in Prague, saying that ever more Hollywood stars are coming to Prague to film their movies. The paper gives two reasons for this sudden popularity. Production costs are much lower in the Czech Republic than in the U.S.A. and Western Europe and the quality of the Barrandov studios is higher than that of many studios in Hollywood. The paper quotes the Barrandov studios' head of marketing, Matous Forbelsky, as saying that American producers can actually reduce costs by up to 50% if they film in the Czech Republic.

Today's PRAVO reports on an attack on a family house in the Moravian town of Opava by a group of 10 skinheads, who were celebrating Adolf Hitler's birthday on Friday night. The building that was attacked used to house a Roma family and its current inhabitants claim that their home has come under attack many times by skinheads who had thought that the Roma family still lived there.

The latest incident ended in two broken windows, but further damage was prevented when the police, who were called by a witness, arrived on the scene. The paper says that the skinheads shouted phrases such as "the Czech Lands for the Czechs" and "Gypsies to the gas chambers" during the attack. Out of the 10 skinheads involved, the police only detained a 20-year-old youth who was caught hanging by a chain as he tried to climb up the side of the building.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports on a successful police operation called operation Spider in which 87 people, suspected of running a homosexual, pedophile prostitution ring have been arrested. The paper says that the operation involved 120 detectives from the organized crime department, who had worked closely with their counterparts from Britain, Germany and the U.S.A. The main suspects are three foreign nationals and one Czech, who are believed to be involved in the trade and manufacture of homosexual pornographic materials involving underage boys.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY features an article on its front page that notes that Czech consumers of beef cannot tell whether the meat that they are buying has been tested for BSE, or mad cow disease . The paper says that meat producers claim that their beef is safe but fail to label the products when asked to do so. This is mainly because some 7,000 tests have been carried out so far and if products were labeled as BSE free, they would be in higher demand than non-tested beef, which could seriously affect the market.

Czech politicians have claimed in the past that they would use Czech-made cars and would only drive foreign-made cars if there were no Czech cars available to meet their demands. Today's LIDOVE NOVINY has a rather amusing article on the tactic used by politicians to cunningly circumvent this pledge.

The paper lists the example of the Karlovy Vary Hejtman, or regional governor, Josef Pavel who, when asked what kind of a car he wanted to use in office, gave 38 detailed specifications that automatically ruled out all Czech-made cars, but happened to fit the specifications of an Audi A6 Quattro limousine like a glove.