09-07-2001

PRAVO reports that Interior Minister Stanislav Gross wants non-stop police protection for senior public officials. Only a few political figures currently have bodyguards, and Mr Gross wants to expand this list by amending the Constitution. He cites concern for the safety of Finance Minister Jiri Rusnok and Justice Minister Jaroslav Bures, saying they have received warnings from organised crime groups and even anonymous death threats.

Meanwhile LIDOVE NOVINY leads with the storms that ravaged the Czech countryside over the weekend. Several people were injured and two trains were derailed in high winds that caused millions of crowns in property damage. While the severe weather caused several deaths in other parts of Europe, there were no reported casualties in the Czech Republic.

HOSPODARSKE NOVINY says the patent dispute continues between the Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar - which produces the original Budvar beer - and the American firm Anheuser-Busch - which produces the rather pale imitation called Budweiser.

A German court has ruled that Anheuser-Busch cannot use the 'Budweiser' trademark in Germany. This latest court ruling comes after a 1999 agreement in which the Czech brewery was granted the sole right to use the name Budweiser in Europe, and Anheuser-Busch gained marketing rights to the rest of the world. Since the agreement, both companies have regularly been breaching their designated selling regions and both claim exclusive patent rights to the trademark name.

MLADA FRONTA DNES writes that a fire in a Prague refuge for mothers and their children has left a 3-year-old girl in a critical condition. The fire began around 8 o'clock on Sunday morning on the top floor and thanks to strong winds quickly spread throughout the building. It took fire trucks five minutes to arrive at the scene, but by then the entire top floor of the refuge had been reduced to ashes. One hundred people were evacuated, and investigators are still picking through the ruins to find the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile MLADA FRONTA DNES reports that the Czech Army is creating an elite air force training school. The school will open next year, and will be open to pilots from NATO countries to save costs. Without foreign cadets the Czech Republic would only have enough money to train a dozen pilots. By opening the school up to NATO countries, the Czech Republic will save money and also create higher standards in training for the air force, as well as increased cooperation among member states.

And finally LIDOVE NOVINY says the majority of Czechs do not plan on emigrating to EU countries to find work. A new survey shows Czechs expressing the least interest in working abroad compared to fellow candidates Poland and Hungary. Of the 12 percent who said they would definitely seek work in the Union, the majority chose Germany as the most desirable destination.

09-07-2001