All papers lead with Monday's announcement by Spain's prime minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero that all 1,300 Spanish troops would be pulled out of Iraq by June 30. They speculate as to whether it is a wise decision, wonder what country's soldiers would fill the gap, and continue to analyse international security after Thursday's bomb blasts in Madrid. Domestically, it is a mix of stories that make the front pages ranging from criticism of the Czech Republic's lax approach to last-minute preparations for EU membership to the row between
When the Czech Republic joins the European Union, its citizens will not only benefit economically but they will also be able to enjoy the advantages of travelling, studying and working in the union without restriction. Or at least that was the argument used by the Czech government to convince its citizens to vote in favour of EU membership, and it worked. With an unemployment rate of ten percent, the country's younger generation hopes to have the opportunity to work freely elsewhere, while learning a new language and gaining international experience
All the Czech papers lead with Monday's shocking murder of a teacher who was stabbed by his student in the east Bohemian town of Svitavy. The Academy Awards that were held in Los Angeles early on Monday morning CET also make the front pages, with the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King emerging as the clear winner of the night with a record eleven Oscars. But it was not a lucky night for the Czech film industry as Zelary, the Czech nominee in the Foreign Film category, came close but not close enough, the papers report.
There's good news and bad news in today's papers - Czechs might not be able to work freely in the current 15 members of the European Union after enlargement, but they will be able to work in the other nine countries that join on May 1st. Bad news for opponents of abortion, it seems few of the MPs who've received graphic photographs of aborted foetuses have been persuaded to back a bill banning abortion.
Stony faces in place of polite smiles on the front page of Lidove Noviny: the visit of the Dutch Prime Minister Peter Balkenend to Prague passed under a cloud of displeasure after the Dutch head of government announced that his country would allow Czechs only limited access to the Dutch labour market after the Czech Republic joins the EU in May. The Czech Prime Minister has threatened reciprocal action, says Pravo, but given the number of EU countries which are adopting a wary stand and restricting access to their labour markets such a policy would
Inflation accelerates beyond expectations to its fastest rate in nearly two years. The unemployment rate rises to a record 10.8 percent but many are reluctant to take available jobs. Labour and Social Affairs Minister is planning to tighten the conditions for foreigners who want to obtain a business licence. Czech construction firms are merging so as to have easier access to large contracts financed from European Union funds.
The implications of the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union are the centre of attention in most of today's newspapers. Mlada Fronta Dnes speculates that the elections to the European Parliament might bring down the government of Vladimir Spidla. The paper says that the outcome of the June elections will be a significant event on the domestic political scene and will have a bearing on the survival of the ruling coalition.
Since January 2003, authorities have been running a programme to attract skilled foreign workers to the Czech Republic as the country's population ages and Czechs go abroad to work. The scheme is still in the trial stages, open to applicants from just three countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, and Kazakhstan. Under the programme, potential immigrants are given fast-track access to residence permits, allowing them to settle permanently in this country after just two and a half years - instead of the usual ten.
As Prague develops into one Central Europe's main commercial capitals, there are literally hundreds of new building sites in the city, to feed a seemingly unlimited demand for new office and retail space. On many of these building sites you will only rarely hear Czech, as a huge percentage of the workers are migrants from Western Ukraine. There are 100 000 Ukrainian nationals currently thought to be working in the Czech Republic, around half of them without work permits; that's in total about one percent of the Czech population. These migrant workers
For the past year now, the authorities have been running a scheme to lure skilled foreign workers to the Czech Republic as the country's population ages and people go abroad to work. The scheme is still in the trial stages, open to applicants from just three countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, and Kazakhstan. Under the scheme, potential immigrants are given fast-track access to residence permits, allowing them to settle permanently in this country after just two and a half years instead of the usual ten. One of them is Mladin Barbalic, a 40-year-old civil engineer from Croatia who came to Prague in 1994. Kay Grigar spoke to him.