Press Review

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Most of the Czech newspapers today carry photos of Queen Elizabeth II amid cheering crowds in London during celebrations of her Golden Jubilee. Photos from the World Cup in South Korea and Japan also abound. But with just nine days to go before the general election in the Czech Republic, it's mostly political issues that prevail on the domestic pages.

Most of the Czech newspapers today carry photos of Queen Elizabeth II amid cheering crowds in London during celebrations of her Golden Jubilee. Photos from the World Cup in South Korea and Japan also abound. But with just nine days to go before the general election in the Czech Republic, it's mostly political issues that prevail on the domestic pages.

Hospodarske noviny informs its readers that president Vaclav Havel seems to be worried by the fact that he does not yet know the names of candidates to succeed him as president. The paper quotes a BBC interview where Mr Havel says that he sees it as a serious problem, because the presidential election is only six months away.

The president also criticizes the Czech Republic's foreign policy over the past four years, which, he says, could have been better. The Czech Republic has not done enough to foster good relations with its neighbours, Mr. Havel says. However, the paper notes that the president is careful not to name names, in an effort to avoid conflicts before the upcoming general election.

Lidove noviny reports on Tuesday's auction in Prague during which approximately a half of property of the local authority in the mountain town of Rokytnice nad Jizerou was put under the hammer. This included apartment blocks, the public library, a children's playground and a hairdressers' shop.

The auction was initiated by the so-called Consolidation Agency, the state agency established to recover bad debts, because Rokytnice's town council owes a staggering 400 million crowns. The debt dates back to the early 1990s when the town borrowed huge sums from the Ceska sporitelna bank. Rokytnice is currently not able to pay even the interest, writes Lidove noviny.

Mlada fronta Dnes informs its readers that following a clampdown by Prague's city hall on rogue taxi drivers charging exorbitant fares, city councillor Zdenek Zajicek has asked the Interior Minister for body guards to protect him and his family. Mr. Zajicek told the paper that the taxi drivers see him as the main figure behind the controls and some of them are threatening to get their own back.

Mr. Zajicek has a wife and three children, but he says he is not going to give in. He tells Mlada fronta Dnes that greedy taxi drivers were spoiling Prague's good reputation as a popular tourist destination, that's why the Town Hall had decided to send undercover inspectors - even at night.

"Every 20th Czech has a gun" reads a headline in today's Pravo. The paper returns to events last Friday, when a patient shot his dentist and then himself. The incident has again brought up the problem of potential risks ensuing from legally possessed guns. In the Czech Republic, their number is on the rise, and over the past seven years, the number of shooting licenses has doubled, writes Pravo. It says that over 320,000 people have gun permits and there are well over half a million legally owned guns, which means there are two for each permit holder.