16-06-2003

The business daily Hospodarske noviny warns that Czechs are the greatest sceptics among the European Union candidates, with the turnout lowest after Hungary and Slovakia. Czechs are the masters of scepticism, the daily quotes the chairman of the Czech Senate Petr Pithart.

Hospodarske noviny also warns that the Czech Republic will have to wait for changes after it joins the European Union. It compares its economic situation with that of Ireland, which joined the Union as a poor country and it took fifteen years for the country to catch up with its rich neighbour Great Britain, to become one of the wealthiest European nations.

Hospodarske noviny also brings opinions of EU citizens on the Czech referendum. More than half of the European Union population think that the Union isn't ready to accept poorer countries from the European East, says the daily. Western Europeans are afraid that expansion to the east could raise problems with unemployment and organised crime. Many of them, like in Great Britain, didn't even know that the referendum was taking place, says Hospodarske noviny.

And finally, away from the EU, Lidove noviny reports that the town hall of the Czech town of Slany, west of Prague, decided to radically solve a problem with rent dodgers. Five Roma families were forced out of their apartments onto the street. The Roma accuse the community of racism, while the town's mayor claims that the main reason was that the families failed to pay the rent over a long period of time. "As soon as they pay, we will talk to them," the daily quotes the mayor as saying.