All Czech papers today pay much attention to an estimate released by the Czech Statistics Office yesterday, according to which Czechs are dying out. All dailies choose different aspects of the statistics: LIDOVE NOVINY's headline reads that this country will need 25,000 immigrants every year to fill the shortfall, MLADA FRONTA DNES says that Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla urges Czechs to have more children and PRAVO's gloomy headline writes "We are dying out". The economic daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY stays true to its name when it writes "Ageing of the population will decrease living standards of all."
A dramatic headline in PRAVO says that Defence Minister Miroslav Kostelka is worried about the life of Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda. Minister Svoboda is planning to visit Iraq next week, and according to PRAVO Defence Minister Kostelka fears that his airplane might become a target of an attack by local guerrillas. The paper adds that Czech government's aircraft are not equipped with anti-missile radar systems.
Although experts have repeatedly pointed out that such equipment could protect the aircraft against missile attack, PRAVO says that it was the high price of such technology that stopped the government from installing it in its fleet. PRAVO adds that Minister Kostelka has visited Iraq several times and according to his colleagues in government, he was not afraid. It is only when he arranges transport for other officials that Mr Kostelka gets nervous, PRAVO concludes.
MLADA FRONTA DNES looks at the case of former deputy police president Miroslav Antl. In October 2002, Mr Antl caused a traffic accident and a breath test proved he'd been drinking. But, the paper says, he was never punished for the offence. The city hall in Hradec Kralove which was to deal with the offence sent Mr Antl a summons which he never collected. After a year, his offence was barred by the statute of limitations.
MLADA FRONTA DNES points out that every year thousands of Czechs avoid justice simply by refusing to collect summons or not turning up for the proceedings. The paper writes that only a new law can tackle the situation.
HOSPODARSKE NOVINY looks back at the life of the 68-year-old man who is suspected of 18 bomb attacks around the country. He is now in a coma after he attempted suicide when police tried to arrest him. The paper writes that he grew up in an orphanage and after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 he attempted to emigrate. He was caught on the border and sent to prison for several years. The daily writes that in the 1980s the attacker, named as Vladimir S., was imprisoned again for fraud and shortly after the fall of communism in 1989 he lost his job.
In recent years he caused conflicts with his neighbours in a Prague housing estate. They say he used to spend a lot of time on the balcony sawing and welding what they thought were iron bars but were in fact pipes he was using to make explosive devices. HOSPODARSKE NOVINY tries to find a connection between the attacker's difficult life and his later acts and asks psychologists to analyse the motives behind his deeds.