04-04-2003

Baghad, Foto: CTKBaghad, Foto: CTK The allies' advancement on Baghad, President Klaus's visit to Poland, the dismissal of the Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting and yesterday's explosion in the city of Olomouc - those are some of the main stories in today's Czech papers.

Starting with MLADA FRONTA DNES, and the paper reports that the subject of civil defence is to return to the curriculum of Czech schools. Starting this September, children at primary and secondary schools will have six compulsory lessons of civil defence a year, in which they will learn how to proceed during natural disasters, what to do in case of chemical alerts or how to give first aid.

The subject existed before 1989 but it was mainly misused for political propaganda, and as such was abolished after the fall of the communist regime. Experts have agreed though, that Czech children should learn how to act in emergency situations, MLADA FRONTA DNES writes.

The paper also reports that the fact that Social Democrat MP Jan Kavan is also President of the United Nations General Assembly is costing Czech taxpayers a lot of money. Owing to the ruling coalition's tight majority in the lower house of the Czech Parliament, Mr Kavan has to be present at every voting and his frequent flights between New York and Prague have so far cost over half a million crowns. MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that Jan Kavan flies business class and collects frequent flyer's points with Czech Airlines. Most recently he had to cut short his stay in Tokyo and fly to Prague to give his confidence vote to the Czech government.

The Broadcasting Council has rebelled against its dismissal, reads a headline in LIDOVE NOVINY. The paper says the parliamentary body is ignoring the fact it has been dissolved by Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, following a vote in the lower house which recommended the move, and its members have refused to accept the documents stating the council's dismissal. The council is planning to continue its sessions and some members are considering taking legal action, LIDOVE NOVINY writes.

LIDOVE NOVINY also reports on the latest "spy" case in the country. Defence Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik and Interior Minister Stanislav Gross told the press recently that they were being watched by intelligence services. Reportedly they are interested in business activities of Stanislav Gross's wife Sarka and in Jaroslav Tvrdik private life. The paper says that the ministers' allegations are difficult to prove and the general public who don't have access to secret services' documents will never know the truth. If they do, it will be fifty years from now when the archives are made public. Now the only thing they can do is to wait, writes LIDOVE NOVINY.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports on President Klaus's two-day state visit to Poland. Vaclav Klaus and his counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski have agreed that the two countries' stance on the Iraqi crisis is similar, only Poland has opted for a different mode of involvement. The paper quotes Mr. Klaus as saying that although the Czech Republic is not part of the coalition that invaded Iraq, in relation to the size of the population it has more soldiers in the Gulf than Poland.

And finally, PRAVO reports that although spring officially started two weeks ago, the Czech Republic can expect some severe winter weather to return in the coming days. The weekend should be very cold and on Monday and Tuesday night, temperatures are expected to drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius. PRAVO adds that the highest daytime temperature for the 7th of April in Prague was recorded in 1961 when it reached almost 25 degrees Celsius. This April 7 will be colder by a whole 35 degrees.

04-04-2003