The front pages of today's Czech newspapers carry reports on the finding of
a bugging device in the car of MP Josef Hojdar and the government's plan
to bail out heavily indebted hospitals, while the plan to build at
national sports stadium also receives a lot of attention.
Vaclav Klaus, photographed in several of today's papers, has been president
of the Czech Republic for over six months. However, it seems that some
people are still not used to him in that position: in Brno on Tuesday Mr
Klaus was twice introduced as "President Vaclav HAVEL", writes
MLADA FRONTA DNES. The first faux pas was made by the governor of south
Moravia, Stanislav Juranek, with the second slip of the tongue coming from
Brno mayor Petr Duchon, who is a member of Mr Klaus's Civic Democrats.
It seems, however, that Mr Klaus is used to being confused with his
predecessor: he told people in Brno that he had also been addressed as
"Mr Havel" at a recent meeting of Visegrad Four presidents.
There are only 20 Romany teachers in the whole of the Czech Republic,
writes HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. Viktor Sekyt, who deals with Romany issues at
the Office of the Government, tells the daily that if Romanies get to
university, they tend to study medicine or law rather than go into
teaching. That is partly because teaching is not well paid, he says.
In the town of Broumov one in nine citizens is a Romany, though only four
Romanies there have passed school leaving exams, or maturita. That
situation can change, says 29-year-old teacher Lenka Kurova, who is
herself a Romany. She tells the daily her aim is to motivate her Romany
pupils - six out of a class of 19 - to complete elementary school.
Lenka Kurova says, however, that some members of the Romany community no
longer regard her as one of them since she became a teacher. Despite that,
the school's head teacher says Ms Kurova is better able to deal with
Romany parents than other teachers. If we castigate them, we are afraid
they'll accuse of us of discriminating against them, the director tells
The issue of discrimination against Romanies is also raised by MLADA
FRONTA DNES, after President Klaus told BBC TV that he would not discuss
the question, because it was nonsense. Commentator Martin Komarek draws
attention to the number of Romanies who have been killed in racially
motivated attacks in the Czech Republic in the last decade.
It is simply a fact that most Romanies live in worse conditions than white
Czechs, the article continues, adding that many institutions try to help
Romanies and most white people do not act against them. Surely, says the
author, it would have been better for President Klaus to say 'Romanies are
normal citizens, and the fact they live in poverty is a big problem for
the whole country. And we have to do something about it.'