Press Review

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

The Karel Gott for President saga drags on today - in a front-page interview with MLADA FRONTA DNES the popular singer says he would consider standing for the post, after telling a rival newspaper last week that it was out of the question. Indeed it seems Mr Gott - known as "the Golden Nightingale" to some and "Zombie" to others - was so flattered by the idea he's now taking it seriously. "When I see that people are willing to consider me standing for president, there's no way I can arrogantly refuse" he tells the paper.

The Karel Gott for President saga drags on today - in a front-page interview with MLADA FRONTA DNES the popular singer says he would consider standing for the post, after telling a rival newspaper last week that it was out of the question. Indeed it seems Mr Gott - known as "the Golden Nightingale" to some and "Zombie" to others - was so flattered by the idea he's now taking it seriously. "When I see that people are willing to consider me standing for president, there's no way I can arrogantly refuse" he tells the paper.

Karel Gott also brushes off criticism that he was too cosy with the Communist regime - the singer was among those artists who signed the anti-Charter, the Communist response to the Charter 77 human rights petition. "Everyone did something in the old regime! The only way of doing nothing was to emigrate," he tells MLADA FRONTA DNES. "I've said all I want to say about the anti-Charter - my conscience is clear."

From Gott to Gottwald now, and the paper also reports on the closing day of an exhibition of Czechoslovak Socialist-Realism at Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery. The exhibition, which came to an end on Sunday, was a resounding success - with thousands turning out to peruse the various horrors on display. Alongside the gaudy canvases of grimy steelworkers and happy peasants was a collection of Communist kitsch, including gifts to Czechoslovakia's "first working-class president" Klement Gottwald.

The last day of the exhibition was celebrated in appropriate fashion, reports MLADA FRONTA DNES. It began with a performance by the saxophonist and former dissident Vratislav Brabenec - a member of the infamous Plastic People of the Universe - and ended with a children's choir singing the praises of Chairman Mao.

Well the dark days of Communism are gone for ever; what matters these days is how much you earn. LIDOVE NOVINY has been looking into the salaries of the country's top state officials, and has come up with some surprising results. The highest paid public servant is the governor of the Czech National Bank - he receives a whopping 225,000 crowns - around 7,500 dollars - a month, much more than the prime minister, the chairmen of the two houses of parliament or even the president.

The biggest surprise, says LIDOVE NOVINY, is who's in second place. It's the general director of Czech Railways, writes the paper, who receives a monthly salary of 208,000 crowns, almost 70,000 more than the prime minister and 30,000 more than the president.

But some public servants at least are willing to get their hands - and sometimes their faces - dirty to earn all that lovely cash. LIDOVE NOVINY carries a photo of a grimy-faced Health Minister Marie Souckova - salary 88,000 - who donned a helmet and boots this weekend for a trip down north Moravia's Paskov mine. She's the first Czech health minister ever to visit a coal mine, says the paper.