Press Review

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All of today's papers feature the plight of several villages in Moravia that have suffered extensive damage from this week's floods that have swept across the region - many papers carry the same photo of a depressed family in the Blansko region discarding their flood-damaged furniture. On a political note, the election of the Communist MP Vojtech Filip to one of the six posts of lower house deputy-chairmen also makes the headlines on the front pages of all the dailies. And the final results of the 2001 national census also feature.

All of today's papers feature the plight of several villages in Moravia that have suffered extensive damage from this week's floods that have swept across the region - many papers carry the same photo of a depressed family in the Blansko region discarding their flood-damaged furniture. On a political note, the election of the Communist MP Vojtech Filip to one of the six posts of lower house deputy-chairmen also makes the headlines on the front pages of all the dailies. And the final results of the 2001 national census also feature.


Staying with that story, MLADA FRONTA DNES devotes half of its front page and one whole page in its economic supplement to last year's national census. The paper writes that the results released by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) this week show that the Czech Republic had a population of 10,230,060 on March 1, 2001 - 72,165 people less than the number recorded in 1991.

Imagine taking a map of the Czech Republic and erasing the East Bohemian town of Hradec Kralove - that would demonstrate how much the population has decreased. The paper also quotes two more facts from the survey: the Czech population is ageing and the number of citizens in employment is decreasing.


Moving on to a political story covered by all of Wednesday's papers. For the first time in a decade, a Communist Party MP has been elected to one of the positions of lower house deputy chairman. HOSPODARSKE NOVINY criticises this new development, pointing to the importance of such a post. It is not just a parliamentary post but also that of a state representative, it notes. On Tuesday, Communist MP Vojtech Filip won one of the six posts of deputy lower house chairmen and although it is just one of six, it is a breakthrough for the Communists who have always been isolated in parliament, the paper concludes.

And staying with politics. After the low number of votes won by the Civic Democrats (ODS) in the June elections as well as the failure of party leader Vaclav Klaus to keep his post as lower house speaker, LIDOVE NOVINY examines Mr Klaus's future plans in a full-page interview. "My decision not to run for the post of ODS shadow cabinet prime minister undoubtedly says something about the search for certain changes inside the party, including on my part", he tells the paper. Although this is rather vague, it can mean only one thing, that Mr Klaus has decided to step down as ODS chairman, the paper writes. In the interview, however, the right-of-centre party leader still leaves a door open to active politics, not ruling out a candidacy for president next year.


PRAVO looks into the reasons behind the abrupt closure of the tabloid Super. The daily's publisher, e-Media explained that it was forced to make the sudden decision due to financial problems. The Czech Republic was introduced to the daily on April 25th 2001. Going head to head with the country's leading tabloid Blesk, circulation fell steadily from 200,000 in August 2001 to 109,000 in May of this year.

The paper speculates that one of the reasons behind Super's lack of popularity could be its aggressive nature. It is also no secret that the tabloid was an open supporter of the Civic Democratic Party and often unnecessarily featured articles that criticised Czech President Vaclav Havel. With its entire staff left uncertain of the daily's future, it is yet to be seen whether it will resume publication or not, PRAVO concludes.


HOSPODARSKE NOVINY devotes an entire page to the events that led to the end of the Czechoslovak state. Ten years ago to this day - July 17th - a decision was taken which consigned the Czechoslovak Federation to the history books, the paper writes. Although the so-called Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia resulting in the formation of two separate independent states - the Czech Republic and Slovakia - was not until 1993, its future was already certain in July 1992. The Slovak Parliament announced its independence and President Vaclav Havel resigned.