30-04-2001

The Czech newspapers today seem to be lacking one really big issue to report on today, and so each of them tackles different themes. "No Exodus of Czechs Seeking Labour in West" announces today's HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. It features the results of a recent survey carried out by the Labour and Social Affairs Research Institute, which says that most Czechs who are considering working abroad expect to earn two or three times more than at home.

From the point of view of money the most attractive destination seems to be Germany, and Austria, which has often expressed fears of being flooded by cheap labour, came third. Some 134,000 people are considering working abroad, according to the survey at least, but 90 percent of them only want a temporary job and plan to come back to the Czech Republic afterwards.

Work abroad is especially attractive to the younger generation, mostly people between 18 and 24 years of age. But as soon as the Czech economy starts showing a better performance, reasons for working abroad will disappear, concludes HOSPODARSKE NOVINY.

Czech children could soon start learning how to behave like genuine Europeans at primary school, writes LIDOVE NOVINY today, and they could be given a basic education in environmental issues and the media from an early age. A proposal submitted by the Ministry of Education counts on six new subjects being introduced in schools. Children will be taught how to be democratic citizens, how to treat others, and how to speak in public.

Headteachers will not have to include all the new subjects, but the most significant fact will how the school attracts experts to teach the children the new European curriculum. The new education programme will come into force in three years' time and will be accompanied by a whole package of changes, prepared by the ministry, writes LIDOVE NOVINY.

Did you know that there are less weddings in the Czech Republic in May than in any other month? PRAVO reports that this is due to a superstition saying that a marriage made in May will be unhappy, or that the bride will die within a year. The superstition, says the paper, is still alive and well in some parts of the country.

The official Master of Ceremonies in the South Moravian town of Uherske Hradiste told the paper that there was not a single wedding scheduled for May in her town hall, while she married eleven couples last Saturday. She told PRAVO that when a couple is offered May as a wedding date, at least one of the partners refuses.

And finally - MLADA FRONTA DNES reports on the Social Democrat cabinet's resolution to collect more money on taxes before the Czech Republic joins the European Union. Should the government remain in office by the date our country joins the EU, writes the paper, then companies and individuals would pay 150 billion crowns more tax within the next three years, which is 5,000 crowns - around 130 dollars - per person per year.

The government intends to increase VAT from 5 to 10 percent, which would concern especially foodstuffs and services, and transfer some items from the 5 percent bracket to the 22 percent group - for instance telephone services and construction. Tax increases are one of the basic plans within the Czech Republic's pre-entry economic programme, which the cabinet sent to Brussels on Monday, reports MLADA FRONTA DNES.

30-04-2001