29-05-2001

All of today's newspapers report on a visit by Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda to the Czech Republic and the ongoing property dispute on the Czech-Slovak border. The papers also carry dramatic reports of a shootout at a night club in the town of Most, North Bohemia, where a man, reportedly on drugs, shot one person dead, injured four and then killed himself.

MLADA FRONTA DNES reports that the Czech Army has run out of parachutes. While the old ones are past their service life, the army cannot use hundreds of new parachutes, as they have been declared unsafe.

The paper quotes an angry defence minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik, who says that the situation is seriously damaging the army's reputation as well as the morale of elite paratroopers, as they have nothing to jump with.

The business daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY claims that private firms are not doing enough to protect their clients' personal data. The head of the Office for the Protection of Private Data, Karel Neuwirt, told the paper that there had been a growing number of complaints about companies collecting unnecessary data about their clients. This especially concerns power, gas, water and telecommunication companies.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY also mentions two recent cases of leakages of sensitive data, both involving insurance companies. In one case, personal data belonging to half a million clients disappeared. In the other, someone reportedly bought a hard drive in a second hand shop which contained a database of the company's clients. The data included details of their incomes and health.

LIDOVE NOVINY carries a report on a controversial plan to attract more visitors to the former Nazi concentration camp in Terezin. The plan, put forward by a local entrepreneur, has outraged the Terezin town hall and the Jewish community, as it includes the construction of a large amusement park just outside the former Jewish ghetto, which enjoys the status of a historic monument.

PRAVO writes that around five percent of the 2.5 million employees in the Czech Republic officially only get paid the minimum wage, and the employers pay them the rest in cash.

This, according to the newspaper, concerns waiters, shop assistants, and various other positions in retail and services. However, this illegal practice - which is in fact tax evasion - is depriving the state budget of billions of crowns each year, PRAVO points out.

And finally, ZEMSKE NOVINY follows the development of petrol prices. It writes that prices have been rocketing in recent days to record levels. Petrol producers and distributors say the prices are bound to rise even higher.

ZEMSKE NOVINY arrives at the conclusion that the main motive behind the development is their effort to increase profits, because world oil prices have been falling for the last two weeks.

29-05-2001