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Last week

Last week 36/2007

In this week's summary, domestic police violence, free bank loans, and CEZ helps the birds...

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt

A record was set on Monday, August 27, the first day all summer when there were no deaths on Czech roadways.

The waiting period for replacement joint surgery jumped to over one year. Czech ambassadors met in Prague for their annual meeting. The government decided not to fix any term for adopting the euro and postponed it indefinitely.

“It’s a domestic matter, so leave us to deal with it at home, too,” said police spokesperson Pavla Kopecká, refusing to give the press details of a Police Presidium meeting where national anti-drug squad chief Jiří Komorous challenged organized crime unit chief Jan Kubice to a fist fight after Kubice reminded Komorous of his pre-Velvet Revolution desire to work for the secret communist police. The police president took disciplinary action against Kubice for the incident, his second reprimand in one month, which enables police leadership to dismiss this inconvenient police officer investigating the bonds between organized crime and political leaders for the pettiest of transgressions. Entrepreneur Gabriel Eichler bought a bleach factory in Bohumín. In an effort to bring attention to budget cuts in education, school employees’ labor unions announced a strike alert. “A global tussle over professionals has broken out: the incentives are money and vacation benefits,” the main headline in a Právo daily supplement informed its readers. The mistress of Social Democratic chairman Jiří Paroubek,Petra Kováčová, joined the Social Democratic Party. “There is no former eastern Europe, just like there is no future eastern Europe,” replied Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg to comments from his Austrian counterpart Norbert Darabose, who recently declared that “constructing an American military base in the countries of former eastern Europe is provocation”; while rejecting the geographical aspect of Darabose’s remark, Schwarzenberg also rejected the content, calling the American base a “measure ensuring the security of Europe and its allies for the future.”

Czech delegate Martina Chramcová won the title Miss Roma International in Skopje, Macedonia. Young pianist Ivo Kahánek played Bohuslav Martinů’s “Incantation” at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In Hradec Králové, local veterans from the allied mission in Afghanistan received Crosses of Merit and Přemysl Otakar II Badges of Honor from Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanová. A delegation of U.S. congressmen visiting Prague praised Czech assistance to the Cuban democratic opposition. Almi Décor, a luxury furniture retailer, announced its intention to open several shops in the Czech Republic.

“Police officers who could possibly be susceptible to corruption will be required to visit a psychologist, who will try to talk them out of such intentions,” decided recently appointed traffic police chief Martin Červíček. Newspapers reported on the massive wave of fires that have engulfed Greece; the Greek government announced it would apply anti-terrorist laws to perpetrators and that punishments would be exceptionally stiff. An unknown perpetrator poisoned ten pygmy goats at the Children’s Ranch in Hlučín. Pole-vaulter Kateřina Baďurová vaulted a record 475 centimeters and won the silver medal at the World Championships in Athletics in Osaka. After nine years, the police finally started investigating former Komerční banka managers for lending one and a half billion crowns in loans to companies owned by entrepreneur František Chvalovský, despite Chvalovský’s failure to repay loans at the time, and ultimately at all. At the same time, an appellate court abolished a ruling that acquitted Komerční banka managers in another fraud case involving loans worth eight billion to Austrian entrepreneur Barak Alon which were never repaid. Authorities announced that due to unspecified “additional work” the Prague ring road would cost some 33 billion crowns more than originally planned (thus almost twice as much). ČEZ decided to invest one hundred million crowns over the next seven years in technical measures aimed at curbing the huge number of bird deaths on high voltage lines. The National Theatre rejected Václav Havel’s  request that his wife Dagmar play one of the roles in his new play Odcházení (Leaving), and Havel subsequently decided to give the play to another theatre.

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