Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

All the Czech newspapers today - as the case has been for the last two weeks - inform readers about the implications of the recent devastating floods, and new facts are emerging every day, some of them quite appalling.

All the Czech newspapers today - as the case has been for the last two weeks - inform readers about the implications of the recent devastating floods, and new facts are emerging every day, some of them quite appalling.

Pravo carries a horrifying story from the Karlin district in Prague, the most heavily afflicted area in the capital, from where all the inhabitants were evacuated.

According to the Defence Ministry, most soldiers who guard the flooded Karlin area are well armed, but Pravo writes that last week, a group of Romanies seriously injured a defenceless soldier who tried to prevent them from looting empty flats. The soldier was beaten up and suffered a broken knee and skull. The authorities are trying to conceal the incident, because the soldier had absolutely no gear to defend himself, not even an ordinary knife.

Mlada fronta Dnes carries a list of elementary and secondary schools which will not start the new school year before September 16th, some of them even later. Some schools have a chance to send their pupils to all kinds of recreation facilities outside the city, others have prepared a substitution programme in Prague. The damage caused by the floods to schools amounts to hundreds of millions of crowns, and many schools will not be able to open for children because construction companies will not be able to renovate them in time.

School headmasters say that they are getting dozens of offers for stays in the countryside, but unfortunately not all of them are realistic. "Although the owners of recreation facilities and mountain chalets are making the offers with good intent, we cannot possibly place 20 children in one dormitory," one of the headmasters told the paper. The good thing is, however, that some of the stays are being offered completely free, writes Mlada fronta Dnes.

The business daily, Hospodarske noviny, writes that in addition to being deprived of shelter, during the floods many people lost important documents, such as birth certificates, identification cards, business and driving licenses. The only printing works in the country which prints such documents is expecting a huge demand, as was the case after floods hit Moravia five years ago.

The situation is complicated because the works, located in Prague's Holesovice district, was flooded as well, but after a week of being at a standstill, it is now back in operation. The documents should be ready in less than a month, but if the firm is not able to manage, it can rely on help offered from abroad. So far, it has not been necessary, says Hospodarske noviny.

And finally moving away from the floods - "Czechs spend less money for shopping" reads a headline in Lidove noviny. According to the Czech Statistical Office, June was a second successive month when Czech households spent less on shopping than economists had predicted. Economic analysts say this is partly due to higher unemployment, partly due to a slower pace of pay rises in industry. Another reason was the strength of the crown towards both the dollar and the euro. The decrease of purchases was most visible in the sales of cars and mobile phones, where experts say the market in the Czech Republic is saturated - concludes Lidove noviny.