Press Review

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Possibly the most important message on all of today's front pages is that -twelve years after the fall of communism - the Communist party is breaking out of its enforced political isolation. " The communists to get their share of power" says Lidove noviny. In a front page editorial Jiri Loewy notes that President Havel's refusal to acknowledge or meet with the communists is a lone, symbolic gesture of defiance that cannot prevent the onset of a new era. The communists are back and the door to power is wide open. They have only to walk through it, Loewy says.

Possibly the most important message on all of today's front pages is that -twelve years after the fall of communism - the Communist party is breaking out of its enforced political isolation. " The communists to get their share of power" says Lidove noviny. In a front page editorial Jiri Loewy notes that President Havel's refusal to acknowledge or meet with the communists is a lone, symbolic gesture of defiance that cannot prevent the onset of a new era. The communists are back and the door to power is wide open. They have only to walk through it, Loewy says.

By way of comment, the paper has chosen to feature a front page story about the biggest Czech bell - the famous Zigmund which tolled in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral. On Saturday June 15th, the day of the elections, Zigmund's tongue broke and the bell fell silent, Lidove noviny says. Legend has it that this is a bad omen for the country's future. A famous Czech bell maker, consulted by the paper, waved away these tales as complete nonsense. It is easy to see from the remains that the bell's tongue was cracked, it was bound to break sooner or later -the fact that it happened last Saturday was pure coincidence, he told the paper.

None of the papers have failed to note that June 19th is Vaclav Klaus' sixty first birthday. There will be few to congratulate the embittered leader of the Civic Democrats this year, notes Pravo recalling how, last year, Mr. Klaus' fans queued up for hours just to shake his hand during a mega-celebration for his 60th birthday, attended by politicians, sports stars and film celebrities.

Not only will the professor have to drink the bitter cup of his election defeat - says the paper - one of his leading party members have just given him a very public lesson in political ethics, by resigning from office while Mr. Klaus himself is still hanging on to his post. "To be or not to be ...something is rotten..." Mlada fronta Dnes jeers, while Lidove noviny asks "Mr.Klaus, what ARE you waiting for?

Away from politics, Mlada fronta Dnes reports that the City Hall's Board for Preservation of Historical Sites and Monuments has approved plans to re-construct and expand the former Czech Radio building in the Pankrac district -already the highest building in Prague. Other high rise buildings are expected to grow up around it over the next 10 to 20 years. The paper notes the City Hall's decision comes as a surprise and will undoubtedly evoke a new storm of protest from local inhabitants, architects and historians. It is not just fear of a terrorist attack, the paper says, many people, including city planners argue that "a small Manhattan" on the suburbs of Prague is certain to spoil the city's historical sky-line.

And finally, scientists are said to have ascertained that pets in the office tend to produce a good mood and increase labor productivity. According to Pravo the experts recommend parrots or hamsters to start with. Would employees welcome such a diversion? Possibly, at some other time. An opinion poll conducted among 1500 employees revealed that the vast majority of workers would much prefer to get large screen color TVs in order to be able to watch the football championship games.