Rain returned and ended the dry spell. Witch-burning fires burned on the hilltops. On May Day police broke up demonstrations of young neo-Nazis in Brno and young Bolsheviks in Prague. “Smack,” was the Mladá fronta DNES headline of the story informing readers that the Czech national ice hockey team had lost to Germany at the World Championship in Moscow.
The mechanical engineering industry announced unprecedented profits. The power giant ČEZ began buying up its own shares on the stock exchange. Czech football player Milan Baroš, who plays for Lyon, was expelled from the French football league for making a racist gesture aimed at an African opponent. “Frankly? I’m not,” Tesco director Phil Clarke responded when asked by Hospodářské noviny, “Aren’t you concerned that the Czechs, who have a reputation for stealing, will abuse the self-service checkout system you are planning to install?”
“They steal everything they can get their hands on here; it’s unfortunate, because otherwise Czechs are kind people,” said Veit V., an Austrian living in Prague who found his car in a supermarket parking lot after it had been stolen just one day after he brought it to Prague from Linz; after the theft, police officers told the car owner that they could not help him and that he could say goodbye to his vehicle. “We’ve gotten used to tools or power saws going missing; but when tractors start to disappear, I’m afraid our region will go to hell in a handbasket once the border opens completely,” Hugo Anzinger, a farmer from the border community of Afiesl, told the Austrian press after an unknown perpetrator stole his New Holland tractor at night and slipped over the green border and into the Czech Republic with it.
After talks with representatives of the Czech Foreign Ministry in Prague, members of the regional assemblies of Saxony and Brandenburg declared that they believe the Czech Republic is “well prepared to enter the Schengen system of open European borders.” Rudolf Jelínek Distillery penetrated the Serbian market. Due to missing cigarette tax revenue, the state budget unexpectedly plunged to minus seventeen billion crowns. Svatopluk Beneš passed away. Viktor “Pirate of Prague” Kožený, who dispossessed American and Czech investors of billions of crowns in privatization schemes around the world, was released from custody in the Bahamas. A statue of Jan Antonín Baťa was erected in the center of Zlín.
After a fifteen-year legal process, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling by a court of lower instance acquitting Communist-era secret police agent Pavel Minařík, who had been charged with, in addition to routine informant work, having prepared a terrorist attack on Radio Free Europe in the 1970s, which is, according to preserved documents, exactly what Minařík was engaged in during his espionage stint. Agip bought the Czech gas station chain Esso. A car carrying the head of the Czech diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, Filip Velach, came under fire in the province of Paktia, and two bodyguards were lightly wounded during the attack. One of the sherpas carrying equipment for Prague mayor Pavel Bém’s mountaineering expedition to the peak of Mount Everest died at the Khumbu Icefall.
“The weather is so foul that not even the devil himself would be caught in it; I’ve watched at least thirty sherpas carry their deceased friend, and it is fascinating to see how routinely these local heroes accept death,” Mayor Bém wrote of the tragedy of one of his carriers for Mladá fronta DNES. Three years passed since the Czech Republic entered the European Union. “Similar to anti-nuclear activists at Temelín, I am willing to tether myself in order to prevent a national library like that from being built in Letná Park,” pronounced Czech President and fresh recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from Moscow University Václav Klaus after participating in a debate on the quality of the proposed new National Library building, which was rendered as a stylized green octopus by its designer, world-renowned architect Jan Kaplický. The Catholic Church deserted its age-old theological concept of “limbo” and decided that all children – even those who die before being baptized – await salvation. Following an 80-year absence, a kijor, or ritual washbasin, was returned to the Zadní Synagogue in Třebič.
Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (General Health Insurer) shed its debts. Moravian and Silesian women bodybuilders competed for the title of regional champion in Bystřice nad Pernštejnem. The Czech Republic’s team comprised of four young men beat teams from India, China, and Russia in the final round of the international contest GMC Euromanager; “Which country knows how to foster the best managers? Clearly the Czech Republic!” wrote Hospodářské noviny, commenting on the victory. The tallest Czech, Tomáš Pustina (224 cm / 7 feet 4.25 inches), celebrated his thirtieth birthday in pain and agony: in addition to his body’s inability to stop producing the growth hormone, his ankles became so inflamed that he had to stop walking.