Press Review

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Wednesday's Czech papers carry a mixed bag of stories, though a good deal of attention has been given to the question of the pension Vaclav Havel will receive when he retires as president at the end of January. PRAVO reports that Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky has proposed a pension package that amounts to over 210 thousand crowns a month, the equivalent of almost 7,000 US dollars.

Wednesday's Czech papers carry a mixed bag of stories, though a good deal of attention has been given to the question of the pension Vaclav Havel will receive when he retires as president at the end of January. PRAVO reports that Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky has proposed a pension package that amounts to over 210 thousand crowns a month, the equivalent of almost 7,000 US dollars.

LIDOVE NOVINY, meanwhile, has a wonderful photo on its front page of Dana Zatopkova at the unveiling of a statue of her late husband, legendary long-distance runner Emil Zatopek. Mrs Zatopkova is pictured by the statue, which stands in the garden of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, with Jacque Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee. She and her husband both won medals at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

With local and Senate elections coming up, MLADA FRONTA DNES draws attention to a campaign leaflet which contains over a dozen grammatical errors. A 14-year-old would be embarrassed by the mistakes in the leaflet put out by the Civic Democrats in the west Bohemian town of Sokolov, says the daily. Some of the sentences don't make any sense whatsoever, for the simple reason that they do not have an ending. Next time we'll have our leaflets edited, a Civic Democrat candidate tells MLADA FRONTA DNES.

The daily also reports on the first Czech Internet site to offer medical care, lekarna.cz. The service appeals most to people too busy to go the doctor, or just too embarrassed to ask their doc delicate questions, says MLADA FRONTA DNES. Some 20 doctors with different specialisations are involved in the project, and get paid per 'consultation'. On-line consultation cannot deal with acute problems, states the site, stating the obvious.

The paper's Prague section reports on the practice of charging people with tripods for taking photos on Charles Bridge. The toll was illegally levied by representatives of the organisation which controls trade on the bridge, and was only ended recently, following media attention. Busking without a licence is also forbidden on Charles Bridge, and a music student tells MLADA FRONTA DNES how he was swiftly moved on by uniformed guards, when he tried to play for the price of a beer.

Prague lovers of the original pilsner beer, Plzensky Prazdroj, can once again enjoy a jar at the pub U Pinkasu, writes HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. The pub, which has been serving Pilsen beer since just a few months after the brewery started using a new brewing method in 1843, has just reopened after renovation. U Pinkasu, which is on Malostanske namesti, has been known to serve 1.2 million beers a year.

MLADA FRONTA DNES carries an interview with Bohdan Slama, the director of Divoke Vcely, or The Wild Bees, the film which has been chosen as the Czech nomination for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Mr Slama said he would have to borrow a tuxedo for the Oscars ceremony, and that even if The Wild Bees - which is a quirky low-budget look at life in a small town - could be hard for Americans to understand, he was glad of every viewer and chance to travel.