Press Review

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All the Czech newspapers today feature photos of disappointed Czech ice hockey players, who were knocked out of the world championships in Sweden after losing to Russia. The team's captain Jaromir Jagr is featured in most of them, with sadness in his eyes.

But otherwise it's political issues which make the headlines today. Pravo reports on Wednesday's lunch between president Vaclav Havel and the Social Democrat leader Vladimir Spidla, during which he tried to ease tension between him and the major Czech political parties. The president admitted it was most likely that he would entrust the head of the winning political party after June's general election with the task of forming a new cabinet.

President Havel had caused uproar by saying the Czech constitution did not insist that the party which wins the elections must automatically be given the task. He mentioned the possibility that the winning party might not want to be in government but would want to stay in opposition. However, Mr. Havel said this situation might occur only theoretically, and it seems that the parties now have been appeased.

Mr Zeman might appear in court again soon over vulgar language recently when speaking about senator Michael Zantovsky, who is also the chairman of the tiny Civic Democratic Alliance. At a pre-election meeting of the Social Democratic Party in Brno, Mr. Zeman spoke about the planned purchase of Gripen fighter jets for the Czech army, mentioning an 'American lobby' which is allegedly led by Mr. Zantovsky.

But Mr. Zeman said more: he told the crowd Mr Zantovsky was sometimes called an 'effing dwarf' in the Senate. Mr. Zeman said he did want to criticize the fact that Mr. Zantovsky is of modest stature, but, he added, his height did correspond with his intellectual abilities.

Mlada fronta Dnes informs Prague residents that during the NATO summit due to be held in Prague in autumn, their movement in the city will be restricted. The Czech capital will witness the strictest security measures ever, writes the paper.

The Prague Town Hall advises people to find an alternative programme for the two crucial days, because even city transport will be limited and the summit's venue, the Congress Centre, as well as the road from the airport and most of Prague hotels will be under constant police surveillance.

After the Czech Republic's entry into the European Union, Czech nurses might face serious problems, writes Hospodarske noviny. What is not in line with EU standards is their education, reports the paper. According to the EU, only students that have reached the age of 17 will be able to enroll to specialised schools for nurses, and will have to be graduates from a secondary school with a school-leaving exam.