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         STUDENTS' E-MAIL NEWS FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC

         Charles University in Prague
         Faculty of Social Sciences
         Smetanovo nabr. 6
  110 01 Prague 1
         Czech Republic
 e-mail: CAROLINA@mbox.fsv.cuni.cz
 tel: (+4202) 22112252, fax: (+4202) 24810987

            *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

       C A R O L I N A  No 343,  Thursday, August 26, 1999.

FROM THE EVENTS OF THE PAST TWO WEEKS (August 11 - August 25)

Nation Recalls August 1968 and August 1969

     Czech media dedicated a great deal of attention in the past week to
the  anniversaries  of  the  August  20-21,  1968 Soviet-led Warsaw Pact
invasion  of  the  former  Czechoslovakia,  and  the  demonstrations and
repression  of  August  1969.  The  recollections  focused on 1969, when
demonstrators  were beaten,  imprisoned and  killed (the  demonstrations
claimed five lives) by their own countrymen, in the persons of the army,
police  and civilian  militia. The   theme of  betrayal was  enhanced by
television documentaries  recounting how special  legal measures adopted
August 22, 1969 allowing citizens to be held in police custody for three
weeks  without being  charged (known  as the  nightstick (pendrek) laws)
were  signed  by  the  leaders  of  the  Prague Spring: Federal Assembly
Chairman Alexander  Dubcek, Prime Minister Oldrich  Cernik and President
Ludvik Svoboda.
                                                Milan Smid/Michael Bluhm

Kosovo Refugees Return Home

     The first plane filled with Kosovo refugees returning home left the
Czech Republic August 14 from the Mosnov Airport near Ostrava. The Czech
Republic  officially took  in 824   refugees during  the war  in Kosovo,
mostly  the elderly  and women  with children  and most  of whom wish to
return  to Kosovo.  The Czech  Foreigners Police  gave the  refugees the
travel documents with  possibility to return to the  Czech Republic till
the end  of the year, and  the Czech Government gave  each refugee 1,000
deutschmarks. The second plane left for Kosovo August 17, and the return
of the refugees should continue until September 14.
                                                Milan Smid/Michael Bluhm

Aid for Turkey Delayed by Faulty Ministry Communication

     According  to  the  August  23  issue  of  the daily Lidove noviny,
Foreign Minister Jan Kavan admitted that the delay in sending assistance
to Turkey  earthquake victims was  caused by poor  communication between
ministries. Offers from firefighters  and rescue workers from throughout
the country  delivered to the Foreign  Ministry were turned over  to the
Interior  Ministry, which  referred the  issue to  the Defense Ministry.
A Civil Guard  rescue team from Olomouc  with special equipment departed
for Turkey  August 18 and arrived  there August 20, five  days after the
earthquake disaster.
     Nevertheless, Czech experts participated  in extinguishing the fire
at  the  Tupras  oil  refinery  in  Izmit  after  special materials were
transported  from Prague  to Istanbul  by the  Fischer Air  company. The
Defense Ministry transferred part of a field hospital for AFOR troops in
Albania to Turkey.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

TV NOVA Dispute Continues to Boil

     The  Czech Broadcasting  Council (Rada  pro rozhlasove  a televizni
vysilani)  did not  take any  action  in  the conflict  between TV  NOVA
license-holder CET 21 and its former service company CNTS at the regular
council  meeting  August  17.  CET  21,  controlled by Vladimir Zelezny,
withdrew  from   its  contract  with  CNTS   August  6  after  launching
broadcasting on its own from the  Barrandov film studios one day earlier
(see  Carolina 342).  Both parties   submitted to  the council  reams of
documents pertaining to  the dispute, but the council  claimed it has no
jurisdiction  in a  business dispute  and a  verdict should  be given by
a court.  Representatives of  CET 21  and the  American firm  CME, which
controls CNTS, were  invited to attend the next  regular council meeting
August  31.
     Fred Klinkhammer,  president of CME,  August 18 claimed  at a press
conference in  Prague that the  council's indecisiveness enables  CET 21
owner Zelezny "to steal programs and trademarks for two more weeks." CME
majority owner  and cosmetics empire heir  Ronald Lauder declared August
23 that he  will begin international judicial proceedings  to defend his
property  rights  against  the  Czech  Republic,  which he says breached
a US-Czech agreement on investment protection.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

ODS 1996 Election Campaign Appears Illegally Financed

     The  daily MF  DNES August  13  published  a scoop  on the  illegal
financing  of the  1996 ODS  election campaign  (see Carolina  267, 274,
313). According  to published documents, the  7.3 million-crown bill for
campaign posters and  billboards provided by the Helios  agency was paid
for by Railway Construction Brno (Zeleznicni stavitelstvi Brno, ZSB) and
Moravka  Centrum.  At  first,  ZSB  CEO  Michal  Stefl admitted that his
company paid  the bill, but  later he recanted  his statements, claiming
Helios did promotions for his company.
     There  is   no  direct  evidence  connecting   the  money  and  the
construction contracts for building high-speed rail corridors awarded to
ZSB by  the state railway  in 1994-96. However,  if ODS did  not put the
bill for posters  and billboards into its campaign  accounts, that would
be considered tax evasion.
     ODS  election campaign  financing is  still the  subject of  police
investigation,  and the  former ODS  secretary Ludvik  Otta is  still in
police  custody, together  with his  business partner  and friend  Milos
Behounek.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

Lansky Denies Illegality of His Vienna Bank Account

     Deputy Prime  Minister Egon Lansky August  23 rejected charges that
he broke the Foreign Currency Act when he opened a personal bank account
in Vienna  in 1996. In an  interview with the Czech  daily Pravo, Lansky
said the Ministry  of Finance and the Czech  National Bank were informed
about the account,  which Lansky established to help  his Swedish friend
Fritz Hollander.
     The Finance Ministry paid 290,000 USD  to the account after a Paris
arbitration court ruled in favor of one of Hollander's companies against
a Czech state-owned company. Lansky was a Senator in 1996 and an adviser
to then-Chamber of Deputies Chairman Milos Zeman.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

Will British Government Require Visas for Czechs?

     British Home  Office representative Lord  Bassam said that  "if the
situation gets out of control,"  the United Kingdom might introduce visa
requirements for Czech citizens. July's  192 Czech asylum-seekers in the
UK were more  than the average number, even  though all applications for
asylum  submitted  this  year  by  Czech  Romanies  (Gypsies)  have been
rejected. Bassam told Reuters that the UK does not feel the Romanies are
"truly refugees".
     German border  guards at the  Rozvadov-Weidhaus crossing August  14
did  not  allow  into  Germany  a  group  of  Czech Romanies from Prerov
travelling by  bus to London. They  were turned back because  they could
not show they had the money for a stay in the EU, i.e., 100 deutschmarks
per day per person. Altogether the group had 40 British pounds.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

NEWS IN BRIEF
*    The  Senate  election  campaign  for  Prague's  first district (see
Carolina 342)  closed August 25. Polls  say the best chance  to fill the
seat  of the  late Vaclav   Benda belongs  to independent  candidate and
travel-agency owner Vaclav Fischer.
*    Anastaz Opasek, abbot of the Benedectine monastery in Brevnov, died
August 24. Opasek, who was a  monk, priest, poet, political prisoner and
exile, died in Bavaria of a heart attack.
*    The  Environment Ministry  upheld the  decision of  Sumava National
Park  management not  give in   to the  environmentalists who  have been
trying  to  stop  the  cutting  of  termite-infested  trees  by chaining
themselves to the trees since July.
*    The  king  of  Olach  Romanies,  Josef  Smolka,  died  August 18 in
Ostrava. The  wake and funeral in  Opava were attended by  more than 500
people, whose  cars caused a small  traffic jam during the  transport of
the coffin from Ostrava to Opava.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

ECONOMY
Privatization to Move More Quickly

     National  Property  Fund  Chairman  Michal  Hruby  said  the fund's
presidium August 17  decided to move forward on the  sale of the state's
shares in 12 firms, including  Czech Airlines, Paramo, Northern Bohemian
Mines  (Severoceske  doly),  OKD  and  Czech  Radiocommunications. Prime
Minister  Milos Zeman's  Government should  decide on  the sale of these
firms  by the  end of  the year.  Faster privatization  is supported  by
Finance Minister  Pavel Mertlik and the  domestic and foreign investment
communities, while  Trade Minister Miroslav  Gregr is against  the plan.
Patria Finance estimated that the sale could bring in 60 billion crowns.
                                           Pavlina Hodkova/Michael Bluhm

Zeman Hints at Reduction of State Employees

     Prime  Minister Milos  Zeman August   24 in  a radio  interview for
Radiojournal (Radiozurnal) said that state  employees' pay next year can
slightly rise only if there are  less workers receiving wages. Zeman did
not  specify any  numbers or  areas for  reduction, saying the reduction
would be made only  where they did not cause any harm  and would lead to
increased productivity of remaining workers.
     Unions for the state's approximately 800,000 employees want a raise
of  4.4 per  cent (the  predicted inflation  rate) for  next year, while
Finance  Minister  Pavel  Mertlik  is  against  such  a  raise.  Zeman's
Government  had promised  to reduce  state bureaucracy,  but instead the
number  of  bureaucrats  has  risen  since  Zeman  took  office  and his
Cabinet's first step was to  grant state employees a blanket 17-per-cent
raise.
                                           Pavlina Hodkova/Michael Bluhm

Eight Applicants for Third Mobile-Phone License

     The winner of the tender for the third mobile-phone license will be
announced September  30 by Transportation Minister  Antonin Peltram, who
will  receive a  recommendation from  a selection  commission chaired by
Czech Telecommunications Office boss David Stadnik. Of the 12 applicants
who  submitted a  2-million-crown application  fee, four  elected not to
enter the next stage of the tender.
                                           Pavlina Hodkova/Michael Bluhm

ECONOMY IN BRIEF
*    Chemapol Group,  which was placed in  bankruptcy in January, gained
another  28.58 per  cent of  Spolana Neratovice  from the Investment and
Postal  Bank's Bank  Holding. Chemapol  now controls  48.56 per  cent of
Spolana.
*    Miners  from  Most  Coal  Company's  Koh-i-noor  mine  in Marianske
Radcice staged a  one-hour warning strike August 13  against the planned
closing of the mine.
                                           Pavlina Hodkova/Michael Bluhm

Exchange Rates at the Czech National Bank (valid August 26)
------------------------------------------------------------
                   1 EUR = 36.370

country            currency       CZK
------------------------------------------
Australia          1     AUD      22.048
Great Britain      1     GBP      55.210
Denmark            1     DKK       4.892
Japan            100     JPY      31.336
Canada             1     CAD      23.331
IMF                1     XDR      47.483
Hungary          100     HUF      14.389
Norway             1     NOK       4.411
New Zealand        1     NZD      18.058
Poland             1     PLN       8.755
Greece           100     GRD      11.144
Slovakia         100     SKK      81.835
Slovenia         100     SIT      18.606
Sweden             1     SEK       4.180
Switzerland        1     CHF      22.712
USA                1     USD      34.830

Exchange Rates of countries participating in the euro
(converted from the euro rate)
country            currency       CZK
-----------------------------------------
Germany            1     DEM      18.596
Belgium          100     BEF      90.159
Finland            1     FIM       6.117
France             1     FRF       5.545
Ireland            1     IEP      46.180
Italy           1000     ITL      18.784
Luxemburg        100     LUF      90.159
Netherlands        1     NLG      16.504
Portugal         100     PTE      18.141
Austria            1     ATS       2.643
Spain            100     ESP      21.859


CULTURE
Havel Attends Trutnov 99 Festival

     The three-day rock festival in Trutnov August 20-22 was the last of
the series of bigger Czech summer music festivals. Some 60 performers of
various styles,  from underground legend  Mejla Hlavsa to  jazz big band
Kontraband  and the  gypsy band  Tockolotoc participated  in the  event.
Several  foreign bands  played as   well, such  as the  Portuguese group
Moonspell  and the  festival's headline  act, the  British quartet Reef.
Among  the visitors  to the  festival was  President Vaclav Havel, whose
country house is  nearby and who had attended the  festival in the years
before 1989.

CULTURE IN BRIEF
*    The  69th amateur  theater festival  Jiraskuv Hronov  closed August
15.  Nearly  9,000  spectators  attended  40  performances by 26 theater
groups, among them amateur troupes from Slovakia and France.
*    Vaclav Nyvlt,  69, dramaturg and  scriptwriter who participated  in
more  than 90  films, among  them the  most famous  adaptations of  late
novelist Bohumil Hrabal's work,  (including director Jiri Menzel's Oscar
winner Closely Watched Trains), died August 16.
                                                   Milan Smid/Milan Smid

SPORTS
Formanova  and  Dvorak  Win  Gold   Medals  in  Track  and  Field  World
Championships

     The  Czech Republic  can boast   of two  world champions  - Ludmila
Formanova  in the  800 meters  and Tomas  Dvorak in  the decathlon  were
victorious in the World Championships  in Seville. Formanova finished in
1:56.78, while Dvorak  recorded 8744 points. After the  first day of the
decathlon,  Czech  athlete  Roman  Sebrle  was  seventh,  but  he had to
withdraw in  the middle of the  sixth discipline with an  injury. Hammer
thrower  Maska,  septathlete  Nekolna   and  triple-jumper  Kuntos  also
participated in the finals.

National Soccer Team Opens Season with Win over Switzerland

     The  first match  for the  Czech Republic's  soccer team  this year
ended with  a 3-0 victory  over Switzerland. The  under-21 national team
lost an exhibition match in Prostejov to Korea 1-4.

Teplice Eliminated in Champions League  Qualifying Round, Next Chance in
UEFA Cup

     After  Carolina's deadline,  Teplice was  defeated by  Dortmund 0-1
in  their   Champions  League  rematch  and   was  eliminated  from  the
competition, having  lost the first  match 0-1 at  home. All teams  that
lost in the  Champions League qualifying round will  have another chance
to make it into the European Cup's second round in the UEFA Cup.

Ostrava Fans Severely Injure Woman after Soccer Match

     A  35-year-old  woman  was  seriously  injured  when Ostrava soccer
hooligans threw stones  at a train coming in from  Olomouc, which was to
play the  Ostrava team. A  stone flew  threw  a window of  the train and
struck  the  woman  in  the  head.  The  Czech  Soccer  Union reacted by
establishing a foundation to crack  down on hooligans. A quarter-million
crowns has been  offered from the foundation for  information leading to
the  capture  of  the  Ostrava   fan  who  injured  the  woman.  Another
quarter-million  crowns will  be donated  to the  woman by  Czech soccer
national team members.
     Results of  the third round:  Ceske Budejovice -  Opava 1-0, Sparta
Praha  -  Jablonec  3-0,  Brno  -  Zizkov  4-2,  Liberec  - Blsany 1- 1,
Bohemians Praha - Drnovice 3-1, Ostrava - Olomouc 2-2, Teplice - Pribram
2-0, Hradec Kralove - Slavia Praha 0-1.
     Results of  the fourth round:  Teplice - Sparta  4-2, Opava -  Brno
4-1, Zizkov  - Bohemians Praha  2-2, Drnovice -  Ostrava 1- 0,  Jablonec
- Ceske  Budejovice 2-1,  Slavia Praha  - Liberec  0-0, Olomouc - Hradec
Kralove 2-2, Pribram - Blsany 1-0.
     Standings: 1. Slavia Praha 10, 2. Ceske Budejovice 7, 3.-4. Teplice
a Sparta Praha 7, 5. Pribram 7, 6.  Liberec 6, 7. Drnovice 6, 8. Brno 6.
9. Jablonec  6, 10. Opava 5,  11. Bohemians Praha 5,  12. Ostrava 4, 13.
Blsany 4, 14. Olomouc 3, 15. Zizkov 2, 16. Hradec Kralove 1.

UEFA Cup: Olomouc Brings Tie and Hope Home from Moldova

     Sigma Olomouc, which has not been  playing well in the Czech soccer
league,  managed  a  1:1  tie  in  its  match  against Moldavia's Sherif
Tiraspol August  12 in Moldavia. The  rematch will be played  in Olomouc
August 26.
                               Sports pages by Mirek Langer/Mirek Langer

WEATHER -  without rain with daily  temperature fluctuating around 20-24
degree Celsius. The summer is still here.

English version edited by Michael Bluhm

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