25-07-2003

"Prime Minister Spidla wins first battle", that's how today's papers describe the approval of a package of government-proposed public finance reforms by the Lower House. The cabinet has pegged its future on parliamentary approval of the reforms. But, as the papers point out, this was only the first out of three readings.

On the international front, the dailies carry photos of Saddam Hussein's two sons, killed by US troops three days ago. While LIDOVE NOVINY chose a photo of a rather distant TV screen with a hardly distinguishable semblance of a face, close-ups of the blood-spattered, bearded faces of Uday and Qusay Hussein occupy a large part of PRAVO's front page.

The dailies also report on a volatile outburst that erupted in the parliament before the voting on the reforms took place. The opposition Civic Democrats accused the police force of negligence in a recent multiple murder case, when a psychopath shot dead three of his neighbours in a small village in South Bohemia. The Civic Democrats criticised the police for letting the man free even though he had been known for attacking people in the village, both verbally and physically, and was facing twenty criminal charges.

Mlada Fronta Dnes carries a photo of angered interior minister Stanislav Gross, shouting into the microphone in the Lower House. He cried that to misuse such a tragedy to spark a political debate was abominable. After the dramatic overture in parliament, the paper writes, the interior ministry did act and initiated a special investigation in the performance of the local police. Minister Gross even admitted that laws might need to change for the police to be able to isolate a dangerous individual for a certain period, even in cases when there is no legal cause for detention.

The network of regional dailies Deniky Bohemia today reports on the arrest of one of the allegedly most dangerous drug dealers in the country. The man is believed to have contacts with the Dutch mafia, and reportedly trafficked almost 100,000 tablets of the drug known as ecstasy.

The daily quotes a member of the police special anti-drug squad as saying that they had been after the man for almost 10 months, and arresting him was not easy, as he was on the top of the drug echelon - an organiser of drug smuggling and trafficking. The Czech police closely collaborated with their Dutch colleagues, as the Netherlands is one of the main suppliers for the Czech drugs market, adds the daily.

And finally, Mlada Fronta Dnes looks into the problem of high incidence of repeated divorce. According to the paper, people who have divorced before are more likely to terminate their subsequent marriages in the same way. Projection of past experience into a new partnership, age difference, and children are mentioned as some of the main factors. Many people also realise too late that their new partner has the same negative characteristics they detested in their previous spouse, the daily writes.

25-07-2003