Press Review

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The front pages of Mlada fronta Dnes and Lidove noviny carry photos of popular Czech actors and singers who took part in Sunday's fundraising performance at Prague's National Theatre. Inspired by last year's television show organised after the September terror attacks by United States actors and music stars, Czech celebrities answered phone calls from viewers who pledged to donate money.

The front pages of Mlada fronta Dnes and Lidove noviny carry photos of popular Czech actors and singers who took part in Sunday's fundraising performance at Prague's National Theatre. Inspired by last year's television show organised after the September terror attacks by United States actors and music stars, Czech celebrities answered phone calls from viewers who pledged to donate money. During the show Czech stars collected close to 2,000,000 crowns, money which will go towards the restoration of Prague's damaged monuments.


Unsurprisingly, today's papers devote some space to the fact that today is the first day of school, albeit not for every child or teenager in the country. Mlada fronta Dnes features a long interview with the new Education Minister Petra Buzkova. Mrs Buzkova admits she was an average pupil and that she used to crib - which she says makes her feel rather bad today. The paper also carries a photo of the minister as a first-grader, wearing a huge pink ribbon in her hair.


Lidove noviny leads with an article on an opinion poll carried out by the SC&C agency exclusively for the paper. The poll suggests that 2/3 of Czechs think the new government stood well the test of the recent floods. On the other hand more than 76 percent think the country's president failed in his role. According to the poll Czechs resent the fact that President Havel did not return from his vacation in Portugal straight away after the floods hit, at least to express moral support to his compatriots.


Staying with Lidove noviny, the paper reports on the increased prices of services provided by the Czech Postal Service. As of the 1st of September, a domestic stamp for a regular letter or postcard costs 6 crowns 40 hellers, which is one crown more than before. To send a registered letter will cost you three crowns more than before, that is 17 crowns. Ceska posta, or the Czech Postal Service, expects to earn extra 250,000,000 crowns thanks to this latest price increase and the company plans to use the money for investments.


Pravo returns to the topic of Prague's metro. Fire fighters seem unable to pump out floodwater from two stations: Vltavska and Namesti Republiky, which are on different lines and aren't even close to each other. As soon as the fire crews finish pumping and the stations are dry, new floodwater leaks in from the tunnels, Pravo writes. The metro management say that the overall amount of water which got in the metro system is now estimated at 2.5 million cubic metres and they expect it will last another 5 to 7 days till all of it is pumped out.


Pravo focuses on another flood-related topic and asks whether there will be enough carp - the traditional Czech Christmas meal - available this coming December. The fish are bred in ponds and lakes in South Bohemia which were in many cases swept out by high water. The Trebon fish farm alone estimates the damage at 36 million in fish and 70 million in equipment.

A lot of fish escaped from the lakes and some of them ended up in fields and forests where they died unless they were rescued in time. Special squads now have to dispose of the dead fish. Despite the extensive damage, fish farmers say that prices should not rise by more than 10 percent and the Christmas demand will be covered.


And finally, Lidove noviny comments on last week's article in the popular daily Blesk which revealed that the head of the Civic Democrats and former chairman of the lower house was having an affair with a 24-year old ex- airhostess. The paper lists a number of Czech politicians known for their extra-marital affairs, including President Vaclav Havel who married his wife Dagmar less than a year after the death of his first wife Olga.

Lidove noviny suggests that Czech society shows a great deal of tolerance of adultery in politics, but only in men. When a list of alleged boyfriends of the deputy chairwoman of the lower house Hana Marvanova was published recently, the matter was presented to the public as disgraceful and discrediting.