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Last week

Last week 15/2007

In this week's news summary, Christians celebrate Easter, CzechTek calls it a day, and Vladimír Železný moves to "dirty and lazy" Belgium.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Fotografie: Last week by Pavel Reisenauer - Autor: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Fotografie: Last week by Pavel Reisenauer - Autor: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

The sun shone and the temperature rose. Trees blossomed in the lowlands. Thirty-eight years have passed since Evžen Plocek set himself on fire in the centre of Jihlava in protest at the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia.

The number of registered golfers has increased from 24,000 to 40,000. The government presented its tax and welfare reform. Storks returned to Vysočina. Three burglars who robbed six banks in four months went on trial in Ústí nad Labem. The Interior Ministry was fined 400,000 crowns by the Office for Personal Data Protection for processing the personal data of deceased persons.

„O Death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ has risen, and thou art overthrown,“ – the words of St John Chrysostom were read in all orthodox churches here in celebration of Easter. Jews commemorated Pesach (the holiday of the ancient Exodus from Egyptian slavery to the promised land) with unleavened bread. Union members demanding higher salaries declared a strike alert at Škoda Auto.

The Prague Stock Exchange posted record growth. Eighty percent of the employees of the government agency supporting investment resigned, protesting Industry Minister Martin Říman's dismissal of successful manager Tomáš Hruda as the agency's head, entrusting this function to party colleague Roman Čermák; analysts agreed that Říman took this step to acquire political control over the prepared influx of a billion crowns from European funds, the fate of which it will be CzechInvest's job to decide upon.

„These reasons led us to this decision: the gradual liquidation of the original ideas of free techno, the parasitism of most of the participants and their inability and unwillingness to respect the elementary principles of behaviour in a free area,“ representatives of the Czech free techno community explained on their website why „no event in the scope and under the name of CzechTek will take place this year nor most likely ever again in the future.“

Jiří Holický was named the new general director of Lesy České republiky, which manages the Czech forests in the state's care. The 18th exhibition of sparkling wines took place in Viničné Šumice. The state re-established free entry at St. Vitus's Cathedral.

It became apparent that European Parliament member and former TV Nova instigator Vladimír Železný, who is charged with robbing his business partners, has move from the Czech Republic to Brussels – a city that he recently, in an interview for Lidové noviny, called an „uninteresting and disorderly metropolis of a dirty and lazy country.“

Deportees from the European Union called upon the European Commission to establish a day in the EU officially commemorating the fates of people deported from their homes.

„We are being persecuted like in the '50s,“ wrote local nobility in a letter to Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek asking him to investigate how the police and secret service intimidated them here under the Social Democratic government in the attempt to deprive them of the property recently returned to them in restitution. General Antonín Špaček, a hero of the fight for freedom, veteran of the Battle of Britain and Chairman of the Czechoslovak Legionnaire Community, passed away. Ladislav Rychman, author of Starci na chmelu (The Hop Pickers), died. Statistics revealed that there are fewer high school students. The Central Bohemian Governor's head office was the first office in the republic to equip its building with special Euro-key locks, allowing physically handicapped citizens to open the handicapped toilets there.

The President of the Republic, Václav Klaus, awarded the Rescuer's Cross to six-year-old Czech-Vietnamese girl Linda Bandíková who rescued a two-year old child drowning in a swimming pool in Luhačovice last year. Petr Fiala will remain the chancellor of the Brno University for a further four-year term.

Scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came to the conclusion that Central European temperatures will rise by several degrees Celsius in the coming decades, and that the Czech Republic and other countries here will face a serious shortage of water.

Dust from the Sahara fell on the Republic. „Car washes are raking it in,“ wrote Lidové noviny, commenting on the phenomenon.

The Bible of Kralice Endowment Fund announced that after 13 years of work it had managed to translate 90 percent of the text of the Old and New Testaments into modern Czech. Czech castles and chateaus welcomed their first tourists of the season.

Heavy metal singer Aleš Brichta reported that during Prague Mayor Pavel Bem's current expedition to the Himalayas Bem would like to take, among other items, Brichta's new album Nech si to projít hlavou to the top of the sacred Mount Everest with the help of sherpas.

Miloš Zeman and Jana Volfová founded a new political party – the Dignified Life Party. A pump unexpectedly exploded at an Agip petrol station in Kladno. Newspapers reported that Iggy Pop will return.

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