Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Thursday's dailies continue to cover affairs related to the alleged plot to kill journalist Sabina Slonkova. According to Lidove noviny, there is little convincing evidence against the chief suspect in the case, former Foreign Ministry official Karel Srba.

Thursday's dailies continue to cover affairs related to the alleged plot to kill journalist Sabina Slonkova. According to Lidove noviny, there is little convincing evidence against the chief suspect in the case, former Foreign Ministry official Karel Srba.

Mlada fronta Dnes, the paper Miss Slonkova writes for, questions the origin of the 30 million crowns that the police found in Karel Srba's house, and suggests that Srba could not have made so much money in his Foreign Ministry post. Police are investigating possible corruption at the ministry, and Pravo writes that the Srba case could lead to a number of corruption scandals.

Moving on to economic affairs, Hospodarske noviny warns that a planned rise in the minimum wage could harm the Czech economy. The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Zdenek Skromach, proposes to raise the minimum wage by 60% but some economists say that this could result in increased unemployment rates and more bankruptcies.

Away from matters economic, and Czechs - who couldn't travel abroad much under communism - still like to leave their homes on Fridays and spend the weekends at their cottages. Lidove noviny writes that after Sweden, private ownership of weekend cottages is second highest in the Czech Republic. However, there is a new trend of people converting their cottages into permanent homes. The reasons vary - some want to live more cheaply while others simply want to escape from the hectic city life.

Lidove noviny also features a story on the former secret police agent Ludvik Zifcak whose name will forever be associated with the events of November 17, 1989. At that time, Zifcak first pretended to be a student who supposedly died during the demonstration on Narodni trida, then changed his identity, assuming the name Milan Ruzicka, which was his cover name.

The daily says that Zifcak has never regretted working with the secret police and continues to be loyal to his communist ideals. He believes that most people were happy during the communist years and soon the communists will come to power again.

Pravo reports that the changing of telephone numbers scheduled for one night in September will make some phone calls cheaper. Currently, the Czech Republic is divided into 159 zones with different area codes. In September, this will change and the number of the zones will be reduced to 14, so in regions outside of Prague, what are now long distance phone calls will become cheaper local phone calls.

Mlada fronta Dnes's weekly supplement carries a portrait of the richest man in the Czech Republic, Petr Kellner. The 38-year-old businessman is worth some 10-20 billion Czech crowns and tries to keep his identity hidden from the public. Very few people actually know what he looks like.

Mr Kellner doesn't allow his photograph to be published and he rarely gives interviews. As he briefly explains in an e- mail interview, he is not a politician or a public figure and thus sees no reason why he should keep the public informed about his private affairs.

Author: Kamila Rosolová
run audio