Press Review

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Most Czech papers today lead with the story about Civic Democrat leader Vaclav Klaus unexpectedly standing for chairman of the lower house of parliament. Mr Klaus is quoted as saying he aims to test the slim majority of the government coalition in the lower house. The papers agree and hypothesise on the possible developments after today's vote.

Most Czech papers today lead with the story about Civic Democrat leader Vaclav Klaus unexpectedly standing for chairman of the lower house of parliament. Mr Klaus is quoted as saying he aims to test the slim majority of the government coalition in the lower house. The papers agree and hypothesise on the possible developments after today's vote.


The Civic Democrats have had a study of their poor election results carried out, the daily LIDOVE NOVINY says. The 15-page report states four main causes of the party's defeat. One is the four-year power-sharing pact with the Social Democrats that apparently did not go down well with voters. The second is the party's clumsy pre-election campaign. Another reason why the Civic Democrats did poorly was that they had failed to declare who their partners would be after the elections. And the fourth reason given by the report is the disunity on the right of the Czech political spectrum.

According to LIDOVE NOVINY, Vaclav Klaus has put forward four different causes of the defeat. He blames hostile journalists, the passable performance of the Social Democrats in the previous government, the lack of credible media-friendly faces in the party and lastly the inability to persuade voters.

MLADA FRONTA DNES comments on the farewell garden party the outgoing cabinet held yesterday at Kolodeje castle near Prague. Despite the festive atmosphere the government managed to discuss all the 30 remaining items on the agenda. After the meeting, the outgoing ministers were served roast rabbit with spinach and dumplings and they didn't even wait until the end of the news conference to start tucking in.

PRAVO writes that the outgoing prime minister stayed true to his principles even on the last meeting of his cabinet and refused to say goodbye to journalists. Milos Zeman, who is known for his staunch criticism of journalists, declined to talk to the media yesterday, but on the other hand, he didn't use any of his typical abusive terms about journalists, PRAVO comments. The spokesman of the outgoing government Libor Roucek says he has been trying to make Mr Zeman talk to journalists, including foreign correspondents, in recent weeks. But Mr Zeman will now - in his own words - speak only to interesting people, Libor Roucek told the daily PRAVO.


MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that the west Bohemian spa town Karlovy Vary is getting ready for another famous visitor. The former Soviet president and Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev is coming to Karlovy Vary next Monday to spend two weeks taking spa treatment. Karlovy Vary where the International Film Festival is taking place right now, is used to hosting celebrities from around the world but the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev is a special honour for the town, MLADA FRONTA DNES quotes the director of Karlovy Vary's most luxurious hotel, the Pupp.

PRAVO carries another story about Karlovy Vary. The paper says the spa town has decided to collect palm prints of famous film stars who visit the annual festival. So far the townhall has gathered the prints of among others actor Michael York and the young British actress Keira Knightley. The stars do not press their hand onto wet concrete as usual but onto a special ceramic material - a special mould for a glass pane. The company hired to make the glass panes is asking 140,000 crowns or 4,700 US dollars for one palm print, which has come as a nasty surprise for the townhall.