07-10-2002

The upcoming presidential elections and names of new candidates continue to make the headlines in Czech daily newspapers. A new name on the list, writes PRAVO, is the Communist Partys candidate - attorney Miroslav Krizenecky who worked as a state prosecutor during the communist era.

Most papers also report on a diplomatic scandal involving a Polish Member of Parliament Krzystof Rutkovski who also works as a private detective. Mr. Rutkowski arrested a polish citizen suspected of murder on the Czech territory and escorted him to Poland. The Czech police accused Mr. Rutkowski of breaking both Czech and international law. I would like to apologise to the Czech society that I arrested this murderer, LIDOVE NOVINY quotes him as saying at a press conference in Prague.

According to MLADA FRONTA DNES, the Minister of Defence is giving a chance to rebels in the army some of the main critics of the state of affairs in the military will replace high-ranking commanders who, as the minister says, do not meet new requirements now that the army is to undergo a substantial reform. The new faces at top posts include professionals some of whom have experience from international missions but all of whom are champions of the planned reforms.

Back to LIDOVE NOVINY - the paper speculates about the conclusions of a regular EU accession report to be published on Wednesday. This report is probably the last before the Czech Republic joins the EU. LIDOVE NOVINY quotes an unnamed source from Brussels as saying most of the chapters will be positive, with only a few recommendations for improvement, such as the situation of the Roma minority.

The business daily HOSPODARSKE NOVINY reports that a major renovation of Pragues famous Charles Bridge has been postponed due to the recent floods and a lack of funds. The bridge, which is the most visited Czech historic sight, was to undergo substantial repairs starting in spring next year. However, the paper notes, the main problem is that experts are still at odds about the extent of necessary repairs.

Elsewhere, HOSPODARSKE NOVINY writes that Czech hyper- and supermarkets are coming up with new strategies to attract customers and revive declining sales. According to the paper, a half of Czechs prefer shopping in small shops. The big retail chains therefore offer all kinds of entertainment from swimming pools to cinemas to make people spend as much time in the shopping area as possible. Also, they aim to make people buy more brand products.

07-10-2002