15-01-2001

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports that even after a new law on Czech Television was passed by the lower house on Saturday night, its employees are still on strike. The powers of the Czech TV supervisory board will be temporarily handed over to the lower house, which is supposed to dismiss the new management, appointed by general director Jiri Hodac, who resigned from his post last week. Adam Komers from the crisis committee representing the striking journalists told the paper that his colleagues were firmly resolved to finding a solution to the present crisis whether the new legislation comes into force or not.

The striking employees have indicated they are prepared to step up their struggle, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES - they plan to appear on the screen and acquaint viewers with their demands. Meanwhile, Czech TV has lost many of its regular viewers over the past three weeks of the crisis : its audience share has dropped by 3 and a half percent, and is now well below 20 percent, while more people have started watching the commercial channel TV Nova.

Discussing this phenomenon from another angle, LIDOVE NOVINY writes that Czech TV is likely to lose millions of crowns due to its lower audience share. The paper writes that advertising agencies are indifferent to what's happening at the station, the only thing they're interested in is profits from TV ads. The drop in the audience share can be clearly seen at prime time, when most people switch on their TV sets. And so the one who's most likely to profit from this situation is TV NOVA, writes LIDOVE NOVINY.

"Brezina intends to reduce government bureaucracy," announces PRAVO today. The youngest member of Prime Minister Zeman's team of advisors, Karel Brezina has decided to start fighting overgrown bureaucracy, reports the paper. On his own initiative, Brezina carried out an analysis of all governmental bodies - and he counted 27 of them. Some of them don't actually do anything, Brezina claims. He has come to the conclusion that the government could get by with just 17 such bodies. Brezina plans to monitor the activities of the existing bodies and only then submit plans for reduction. But in defence of the present government its youngest minister has admitted that not all of them were established by the present cabinet.

And finally, ZEMSKE NOVINY has a surprising story about Vietnamese traders in the Czech Republic. Many of them have married Czech girls despite the fact that they already had wives back home in Vietnam. The paper writes that Vietnamese men do so mainly in a bid to simplify the procedure of obtaining a permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic. However, they did not count on their documents being checked with the Vietnamese authorities. Czech officials claim that one fifth of newly-married Vietnamese men in this country were married back in their homeland as well, or at least so claims ZEMSKE NOVINY.

15-01-2001