14-11-2001

All today's dailies unanimously lead with the arrest of Czech TV tycoon Vladimir Zelezny. Zelezny's story together with Tuesday's fall of Kabul plus the EU's annual evaluation report is also the dominating topic of most papers' commentaries.

The investigation of Mr. Zelezny's case, which has been dragging on for some time, is gradually changing into a TV drama, which is not unusual in the Czech judicial system, Mlada fronta Dnes writes. To produce a genuine catharsis and not some kind of cheap never-ending television story, the court has to act - and act really fast.

Mlada fronta Dnes also comments on the situation in Afghanistan, comparing the end of the Taliban's rule to the fall of Hitler. But Kabul is not Berlin and this time the war isn't over with the fall of the capital. However, the Taliban is not the target in this war, it's only an obstacle on the road to the main goal - Osama Bin Laden and his people. But the main enemy is terrorism. Therefore it is too early to declare victory, the paper concludes.

Victory also means responsibility, Pravo says in its commentary on the military successes in Afghanistan. World leaders, and many Czech politicians too, should remember that rousing calls to arms won't only bring them fame in the fight against terrorism but also a share of responsibility for the lives of civilians who may now, in a new political situation, find themselves at the mercy of the victors, Pravo says.

The paper also looks back on Monday's prevention of an attempted jailbreak in Prague and calls it a somewhat spurious victory not worth celebrating. A successful intervention is one thing, on the other hand there is the fact that prisoners in 11 different jails were able to communicate and organize themselves. That wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of corrupt prison guards, Pravo says and suggests the underlying cause is the widespread corruption in Czech society.

The Czech Republic needs to brace itself for the ageing of its citizens, Hospodarske noviny says in a report on the current trends in the Czech demographic structure. Although the state is prepared to cover a large proportion of the costs that this change is going to bring about, people themselves need to be aware of their share of responsibility for their own health and financial situation in old age, a very different attitude from what people were used to under the somewhat patronizing communist rule in the past.

Prazske Slovo draws attention to World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14th. In ten years, every fifth Czech citizen might suffer from the disease. Nobody is able to explain why the number of patients is increasing so dramatically. In the 10-million Czech nation, 655 thousand people are currently being treated for the disease. The percentage of the population suffering from diabetes has tripled since 1975, the paper says.

14-11-2001