Press Review

Iraq's interim constitution, photo: CTK

Iraq's new interim constitution, hailed as an important step on the road to democracy, the reasons behind the record unemployment in the Czech Republic and the future of the governing coalition following the latest rift within one of the smaller parties in government are the main topics on most front pages.

Iraq's interim constitution,  photo: CTK
The Freedom Union is long dead -but the party's leadership has failed to register the fact, says Mlada Fronta Dnes. The Prime Minister has likewise got his head stuck in the sand and maintains that all is well, the paper notes. But the rest of us see months of protracted agony for the governing coalition and the awful vision of a two party system in the Czech Republic - with the Communists as the sole party on the left, the Civic Democrats on the right.

Lidove Noviny focuses on the two men who undermined the coalition government's fragile majority in Parliament by leaving the Freedom Union and announcing that they would in future vote according to their conscience. Vrbik and Bielesz's attempts to appear highly principled, while retaining their influence are ludicrous, says Lidove Noviny. Their manoeuvring space is actually very tight - in order to retain their positions they must continue to support this Cabinet -if they let it fall their 15 minutes of fame is over.

The news from Czech schools is not good these days. Pravo reports on the tragic death of a seventeen year old student who fell to his death from a fifth floor window. Although the case is still open everything points to the fact that the boy committed suicide. The papers say that according to his class mates who were at the scene on the tragedy the boy climbed up on the window sill and jumped before anyone could stop him. He couldn't come to terms with the fact that he'd broken up with his girlfriend and kept telling us that if she didn't come back to him he'd jump out of the window -but nobody took him seriously, said a classmate who wished to remain anonymous. The boy had allegedly brought cider to school that day and had by all accounts been drinking in the course of the morning.

A different school tragedy - the murder of a 63 year old teacher by one of his own students in the town of Svitavy last week -also remains prominently featured. Schools are expected to hold a day of mourning for him on Wednesday -the day of his funeral - and devote some of the day's classes to a debate about violence and aggression at schools. The incident has sparked a broad public debate about better protection for teachers and the idea of introducing school psychologists.