Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Two photographs dominate the front pages of all the Czech newspapers today: one featuring president Vaclav Havel shaking hands with the Chairman of the Lower House, Vaclav Klaus, after the two met on Tuesday following 10 months of communicating only through the press, where they exchanged invective. The other shows the Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, with a broad smile on his face, while delivering what he called his 'farewell speech' to the Lower House, before retiring after the forthcoming election.

Two photographs dominate the front pages of all the Czech newspapers today: one featuring president Vaclav Havel shaking hands with the Chairman of the Lower House, Vaclav Klaus, after the two met on Tuesday following 10 months of communicating only through the press, where they exchanged invective. The other shows the Prime Minister, Milos Zeman, with a broad smile on his face, while delivering what he called his 'farewell speech' to the Lower House, before retiring after the forthcoming election.

Mlada fronta Dnes writes that Tuesday's meeting between Mr. Havel and Mr. Klaus was an effort to show to the nation, that although the two veterans of the Czech political scene have different views on most political issues, there's no insurmountable aversion between them.

The paper quotes Mr. Klaus as saying that the meeting clearly demonstrated the two men were able to communicate despite the fact that they retain their different political views. Mr Klaus said he had told the president that he hoped the winning party in the upcoming parliamentary election, would be given the presidential green light to form a majority coalition government.

On Mr. Zeman's speech before the Lower House of the Czech parliament, Mlada fronta Dnes writes that while the former Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar had conveyed his last good bye with a song, Mr. Zeman was parting using abusive language. He warned that the Czech Republic was being threatened by what he called 'mediocracy', which he characterized as 'a permanent riot of incompetent people' - be it politicians, entrepreneurs or journalists.

And staying at Prague Castle, Lidove noviny reports that a 34 year old member of the Castle Guard was accused on Tuesday of raping two of his fellow Castle Guard soldiers. The officer has served at the Castle guard for five years, and he reportedly lured young soldiers to his office at night and got them completely drunk. He is already facing charges of extortion and affray, as well as four further rapes and several attempted rapes.

Hospodarske noviny reports on Tuesday's trial at a court in Prague against the Reflex weekly magazine, which had carried a cartoon depicting Minister without portfolio, Karel Brezina, naked in an erotic posture. The court has ruled that Reflex must apologize to the minister, but the magazine's publisher intends to appeal. The author of the cartoon, Stepan Mares is quoted as saying that the verdict will under no circumstances prevent him from painting more caricatures of politicians, including Mr. Brezina. To prove this he was handing out his pictures of Brezina in the arms of a scantily dressed woman.

And finally, Pravo carries a headline on its front page which reads "Pirates are raging on Czech motorways". The paper explains that what it has in mind are not reckless drivers, but armed gangs that rob defenseless crews on car parks, pull-ins or even while driving. The police says the pirates are mostly using two methods - they either pierce the tire and rob the driver while he is mending the wheel, or they smash the windscreen and grab everything within their reach. Most robberies have occurred on the D1 motorway leading from Prague to Brno, but other routes are not 100 percent save either, the police informed Pravo.