The rapid increase in wages makes the front pages of all papers today, followed by strikes in Austria and France that have brought everything to a standstill and the US-Arab summit in Egypt at which US President George Bush got positive responses from Arab leaders to the so-called Road Map to Peace in the Middle East conflict.
LIDOVE NOVINY writes that the Social Democrats have been trying to convince Defence Minister Tvrdik to stay in parliament. Mr Tvrdik handed in his resignation on Friday and said he would leave politics altogether. But the paper points out that he has done nothing to show he was leaving. While refusing to comment for the paper he has also left his colleagues in the dark. According to Petr Ibl, the head of the Social Democrat's club in Parliament, Mr Tvrdik has not been answering his phone nor has he replied to his colleagues' mobile phone text messages.
Mr Tvrdik's future on the political scene may be unclear but his time as defence minister has definitely come to an end. Both LIDOVE NOVINY and MLADA FRONTA DNES name one man, Mr Tvrdik's deputy, who will most likely be appointed as the new Czech Defence Minister. Miroslav Kostelka, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES is already making a list of everything he won't be able to afford. The defence ministry's budget has been slashed by twenty percent, or some eight billion Czech crowns. He will have it tough as the army will soon not even be able to afford tanks and canons, the paper concludes.
And MLADA FRONTA DNES also warns of the dangers of a tropical heat wave that sweeps across the country this week. Meteorologists have forecast 31 degrees Celsius for Wednesday and a degree more for most of Thursday. Doctors warn of dehydration and urge citizens to drink at least three litres of water a day, stay out of the sun in the afternoon and do as little work as possible. Coffee and cola, or any other drinks with caffeine should not be consumed. Children are not to be left in parked cars and people with cardiac and respiratory problems should stay home. But the heat wave will not rule for long as a cold front is expected to decrease temperatures as early as Thursday evening.
PRAVO carries an interview with the Deputy-Chairman of the Communist Party Jiri Dolejs. The Communists have been the only party in parliament advising Czechs to vote against EU membership in the upcoming referendum. But Mr Dolejs makes a surprising statement when he tells the paper his party was never against EU membership but simply wanted to distance itself from it. He says he plans to vote 'Yes' to EU membership, adding he was certain he will not be the only party member to do so.
Popular music bands bring in over 37 billion crowns a year writes the country's leading business daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. The famous Rolling Stones have began a three-month tour of twelve countries in Europe. While they are expected to play at Prague's Letna plain next month, concert organisers are hoping to make a fortune. In the Czech Republic, a record sum will flow in, one hundred million Czech crowns, should the expected 103,000 spectators come to the concert.