27-02-2001

Today, there is no single issue on the front pages of the Czech dailies, but all the papers carry extensive coverage on a draft law on same-sex partnerships, which has created a great deal of controversy, as two similar proposals have been defeated in parliament in recent years. On the international front, the papers report on drastic measures adopted in Britain to stop the spread of food-and-mouth disease among farm animals.

MLADA FRONTA DNES carries interviews with both proponents and opponents of same-sex partnership. On the one hand, representatives of the gay minority welcome the new law, saying it would make life easier for them, especially in legal matters such as inheritance.

On the other hand, the leader of the opposition Four-Party Coalition, Cyril Svoboda, argues that such a law should not be limited to people with a certain sexual orientation, but apply to everyone. He also rejects the idea that a same-sex partnership could be equal to marriage.

Today's LIDOVE NOVINY reports on a recent survey that showed that Czech women face discrimination when applying for jobs. Employers commonly give priority to men over women with the same qualifications and experience. Another handicap is children - people without family ties have much a better chance on the labour market. Besides that, Czech men are anxious about their wives's careers and a large number of them simply wouldn't be able to stand it if their wives got ahead of them at work.

In its lead story, today's PRAVO advises its readers on how to find the right place to invest their savings. The paper writes that depositing money in banks is no longer profitable. The paper therefore recommends other financial instruments, such as pension insurance, investment funds and mortgage bonds.

Bank deposit interest rates are already lower than inflation and Czech banks are expected to cut interest rates even further within two weeks. On the other hand, interest on other instruments could reach as much as 13 percent per annum with a state guarantee for deposits. So, why wait?

ZEMSKE NOVINY analyses one of the problems on the Czech labour market, which is the low mobility of the workforce. Although there are sometimes large differences in salary for the same job in different regions, most Czechs are unwilling to commute or move for to attain better work and pay.

Experts identify two major causes: first of all, the difference in wages is not big enough to cover increases in cost of living and commuting. Another problem is the non-existence of a proper housing market. However, analysts are convinced that the gap between poorer and wealthier regions is bound to widen further in the future.

27-02-2001