Press Review

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The only thing today's front pages share in common is photos of the German Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher grinning as he celebrates his fifth victory in the World Championship. Otherwise, the stories are quite varied.

The only thing today's front pages share in common is photos of the German Formula One racing driver Michael Schumacher grinning as he celebrates his fifth victory in the World Championship. Otherwise, the stories are quite varied.

Mlada fronta Dnes reports that eleven advisors of the former Prime Minister Milos Zeman will each get a severance pay amounting to five month's salary, which will cost the Office of the Government over a million crowns overall. Although the new Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said he did not want to keep any of Milos Zeman's advisors, the team would not give their notice in order to qualify for the severance pay.

The paper adds that Mr Zeman's choice of close collaborators and their activities raised many an eyebrow in the past. Some of the people who worked on the team were former high-ranking members of the old Communist Party, a fact which caused a lot of controversy both outside and within the Social Democratic Party.

On a related topic Lidove noviny writes that the successor of the old Communist Party, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which came third in the June election, is getting wealthier and wealthier. Although its membership is thinning and the party has little appeal for major sponsors, its bank account is growing steadily. At the moment the party says its assets amount to 248 million crowns, or over 8 million US dollars.

After this year's elections, the party is entitled to 88 million crowns of state funding. The future is looking good for the party thanks to the loyalty of its members. All Communist MPs and their assistants have pledged to donate 20 percent of their salaries to the party coffers for the next four years. That's another 30 million coming the Communists' way, writes Lidove noviny.

Hospodarske noviny comments on increased recycling in Czech households. Although the Czech Republic still has a long way to go before reaching EU standards, the average Czech citizen recycles twice as much as now as he or she did some three years ago and this trend is continuing. This can be partially attributed to the improved system of collection of waste and its further treatment, as well as increased amounts of money that local authorities invest in recycling containers.

Besides that, Hospodarske noviny also reports on the proposals of the new Cabinet members. Petra Buzkova who heads the Ministry of Education plans to increase teachers' salaries to 130% of the average national income. This would entail increasing state spending on education to 6% of GDP.

The Prague section of Mlada fronta Dnes reports on a national congress of the Jehova's Witnesses which took place at the Strahov Stadium in Prague during the weekend. Almost 10,000 people including many families took part in the gathering and several dozen new converts were baptised in a pool of water in front of the crowd. Jehova's Witnesses are the fourth largest religious community recognised by the state. In last year's census, 23,000 Czechs declared they belonged to Jehova's Witnesses.