Press Review

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Government cutbacks dominate most of Tuesday's front pages, with trade unions in several sectors threatening protests. On its front page, MLADA FRONTA DNES also reports on divisions within the opposition Civic Democrats over next week's referendum on European Union membership.

Government cutbacks dominate most of Tuesday's front pages, with trade unions in several sectors threatening protests. On its front page, MLADA FRONTA DNES also reports on divisions within the opposition Civic Democrats over next week's referendum on European Union membership.

While the party is officially in favour of joining the EU, the number of party officials saying they will vote "no" is on the increase, says the paper. Former deputy leader Ivan Langer is the latest senior Civic Democrat to say he'll be voting against membership. Meanwhile, MP Jan Vidim says it would have been better to join the union later, and under different conditions.

LIDOVE NOVINY devotes a whole page to marijuana. Freedom Union head and deputy prime minister Petr Mares has proposed doing away with the current, vague law which makes it illegal to possess "more than a small amount" of cannabis. Mr Mares says possession of a set amount should not be considered a crime.

The proposal has met with a mixed response within the cabinet. Education Minister Petra Buzkova and Information Technology Minister Vladimir Mlynar are for liberalisation. Health Minister Marie Souckova, however, is resolutely opposed, as is Environment Minister Libor Ambrozek who states simply "I don't agree."

PRAVO reports on a shocking case from a village near the central Bohemian town of Melnik. Three schoolboys, aged 10, 12 and 13, broke open the grave of a one-year-old girl, scattered her ashes about and stole jewelry. Given their ages, the three boys cannot be punished for what the daily describes as their "barbarism."

MLADA FRONTA DNES says the government is giving a Romany family 900,000 crowns in compensation for the long time it has taken for their case to go through the courts. The family, from Usti nad Labem, lost their state flat when they emigrated to Slovakia in 1993.

After a few days they decided to return, but the local authorities refused to give them back their flat. The family received a different flat after the intervention of the president's office and have been pursuing a case against Usti council ever since. They also went to the European Court of Human Rights, and that is why the government stepped in: the state could have been ordered to pay them a lot more and been embarrassed on the international stage, says MLADA FRONTA.

The Czech supermodel Eva Herzigova is planning to follow a well-beaten path from modeling to the movies, reports the same paper. The north Bohemia-born model, who recently caused a splash at the Cannes film festival, is set to play Pablo Picasso's wife in a Hollywood biopic.