08-11-2001

Front pages of all today's Czech newspapers are dominated by the investigation into the business activities of the director of the commercial broadcaster TV Nova, Vladimir Zelezny, and his lawyer, Ales Rozehnal, who has been detained. Other top stories include Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman's visit to the United States and the privatization of the well-known truck-manufacturer Tatra.

Lidove noviny devotes a full page to the case of TV Nova director Vladimir Zelezny and his lawyer, Ales Rozehnal. The paper analyses why only Rozehnal has been detained, even though they both face the same criminal charges. Lidove noviny offers the explanation that Rozehnal probably has all the information the police need to prosecute Zelezny and that a couple of months in detention may persuade him to speak up.

Mlada fronta Dnes writes that the Czech military aircraft maker, Aero Vodochody, finds itself on the verge of bankruptcy, four years after a minority stake in it was acquired by the US company Boeing. Since then, the once successful company has not sold a single aircraft abroad. According to Mlada fronta Dnes, Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman will discuss the situation at Aero with Boeing representatives during his current visit to the United States.

The business daily Hospodarske noviny reports on the decision by the Czech government to sell its majority stake in the well-known truck maker Tatra to US-based SDC International. The investor is to pay nearly 34 million USD for a 92-percent stake and has promised to help the troubled company find new markets. The paper quotes Tatra general manager, Petr Urban, as saying that the decision comes at the last moment, as Tatra finds itself in a very difficult financial situation.

On a similar note, some of the dailies also mention the final decision concerning privatization of the alcoholic beverage producer Becherovka. Becherovka will be sold to the company Salb, owned by French firm Pernod Ricard. Becherovka is in a somewhat similar situation to Tatra, and has posted large losses over the past two years.

And finally, The Prague daily Prazske Slovo carries a photo of three young Roma women dressed in police uniforms. They have joined the prevention department of the municipal police in the North Bohemian town of Usti nad Labem - a town troubled by tension between the majority population and the Roma minority. According to Prazske Slovo, the new policewomen will be mainly working with members of the Roma community who have difficulties integrating into society.

08-11-2001