Press Review

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Without a doubt the dominant story in today's papers is the possible resignation of Vaclav Klaus as head of the Czech Republic's largest right-of-centre party, the Civic Democrats, or the ODS, after the party came in second in elections to the lower house last weekend. In an interview for BBC radio on Wednesday Mr Klaus said he would offer his resignation at the next ODS convention, in line with a promise last year to accept personal responsibility if the party did badly in the elections. In the interview, however, Mr Klaus went on to add that even if he did resign he would consider running for re-election as party head again...so it seems at this moment that it is too difficult to guess just what Mr Klaus will do.

Without a doubt the dominant story in today's papers is the possible resignation of Vaclav Klaus as head of the Czech Republic's largest right-of-centre party, the Civic Democrats, or the ODS, after the party came in second in elections to the lower house last weekend. In an interview for BBC radio on Wednesday Mr Klaus said he would offer his resignation at the next ODS convention, in line with a promise last year to accept personal responsibility if the party did badly in the elections. In the interview, however, Mr Klaus went on to add that even if he did resign he would consider running for re-election as party head again...so it seems at this moment that it is too difficult to guess just what Mr Klaus will do.

Mlada fronta Dnes writes that it wouldn't be Vaclav Klaus if he didn't keep the back door open, pointing out just how carefully the Czech politician chose his words in the interview, never saying that he was quitting outright. The paper notes that the ODS leader is certainly no political amateur and that whenever he's been knocked down before, he's always responded with a fight. But, adds Mlada fronta Dnes, even Mr Klaus must have noticed some of the murmurs of dissent within his party by now.

As to what would the ODS look like without him - Mlada fronta Dnes writes that it is almost impossible to separate the staunch political leader from the Civic Democrats: in short, without Vaclav Klaus it would be a new ballgame altogether.

As the Czech Republic experiences another day in the mid 30s the heat is also rising around Vladimir Zelezny the controversial general director of the Czech Republic's most successful commercial TV station TV Nova: last week the magnate's former lawyer Ales Rozehnal banded together with other share-holders at the station in an attempt to up-end Zelezny as head. Mr Rozehnal made allegations last week that profits at TV Nova were being mysteriously siphoned- off.

Now Pravo writes that the break-up between Zelezny and his former lawyer could benefit Czech police who had been leading a criminal investigation into Mr Zelezny's business practices. Both Zelezny and Rozehnal are charged with an attempt at fraud, and if found guilty each could face from 2 to 8 years in jail. Will Rozehnal talk, asks Pravo, though he has refused to cooperate till now? While the outcome is still uncertain Pravo writes that if either man did chose to cooperate, it could potentially bring them a reduced sentence in the event of a guilty verdict.

Tropical temperatures are set to taper off by the end of the week but Hospodarske noviny has been examining just how the heat has affected different areas in the business sector: not surprisingly breweries as well as ice cream makers have welcomed the hazy early summer, while railway and agriculture workers have been less than pleased.

Hospodarske noviny writes that while beer and ice cream sales have gone up, some farmers have begun to worry about their crops, especially in regions of Moravia that have seen less rain. The animal husbandry industry has also been affected: in the heat cows have been producing less milk and pigs have been giving birth to fewer piglets. Not even the railways have had it easy, complaining of several cases of warped railway tracks, areas where trains have been forced to lower their speeds.

And finally, how's this for a shake-up: Sir Sean Connery, the actor who played the original 007 in the James Bond films, is set to visit the Karlovy Vary film festival, which takes place from July 4th to July 13th. Lidove noviny writes that the Scottish actor will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to film, and quotes one of the festival organizers as saying that not only would the actor close the festival, hopefully he was looking forward to playing a little golf. As to whether the actor will be a shaken or stirred on getting the film award, we'll have to wait and see.