Press Review

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The resolution of the government crisis of course features on all the front pages today - a picture of a smiling Vladimir Spidla in Mlada fronta Dnes says it all. Lidove noviny shows President Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar boarding a plane for the United States - now, it seems, he won't have to worry about catching an emergency flight home, to try and put together a new government.

The resolution of the government crisis of course features on all the front pages today - a picture of a smiling Vladimir Spidla in Mlada fronta Dnes says it all. Lidove noviny shows President Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar boarding a plane for the United States - now, it seems, he won't have to worry about catching an emergency flight home, to try and put together a new government.

But things will not be easy for the three ministers of the right-of-centre Freedom Union, says Mlada fronta Dnes, as they make a sheepish return to the cabinet. Few people would want to be in their shoes, the paper says, after causing all this trouble. Especially since Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said just days ago that he didn't really want them there in the first place.

"You're right, we can hardly pretend nothing's happened," deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares tells the paper. His colleague Vladimir Mlynar, Minister for Information Technology, is also not looking forward to his first day back at work. "I'd met a lot of highly professional people in the business world and was really looking forward to working with them. But during the crisis, several of them rang and asked if there was any point keeping in touch."

Lidove noviny launches a scathing attack on the robotic nature of Social Democrat Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. Mr Spidla took things nice and slowly after the elections, says the paper. He made sure the coalition agreement was completely watertight, to rule out any unforeseen difficulties. In the beginning the agreement seemed to work like a well-oiled machine, with Mr Spidla at the helm. But Mr Spidla's mechanical precision, says Lidove noviny, failed to take into account one thing: people.

The Prime Minister was prepared for weeks of negotiation, horse-trading and reconciliation, says the paper. But what he wasn't prepared for was a little thing called human nature. And the Freedom Union's Hana Marvanova, says Lidove noviny, is human nature personified.


Meanwhile, it's goodbye to Czech "rum" says Mlada fronta Dnes. For those of you unfamiliar with the drink, it's a sweetish brown concoction that tastes vaguely like rum but is actually a far cry from the Caribbean original. Czech "rum" is distilled alcohol made from molasses and flavoured with rum extract, whereas real rum is distilled from sugar cane. Problems arose when the European Union said Czech rum producers weren't allowed to use the word "rum" when selling the product in the EU, because it isn't the real thing.

So it's goodbye to "rum" as we know it, says the paper. Producers are finally taking the word "rum" off the labels, and replacing it with the Czech word "Tuzemak" - a reference to the product's domestic origin. "Ho ho ho and a bottle of domestic" doesn't really have the same ring to it...