A Czech laborer died when scaffolding collapsed at a construction site of a thermal power plant in Grevenbroich, Germany. Trade unionists announced they would demand an eight-percent wage hike in light of anticipated high inflation. The cost of third-party liability insurance rose. Eighty-nine years passed since the founding of Czechoslovakia. Czech President Václav Klaus denied a Senate proposal and again refused to include two anti-communist resistance heroes, brothers Ctirad and Josef Mašín, on the list of important personalities traditionally decorated with state honors on October 28; instead of them, Medals of Merit were bestowed upon violinist Václav Hudeček and flutist Jiří Stivín. Under the framework of the long-term project “Lost Spirit of a Nation,” a communist concentration camp was replicated on Wenceslas Square, where the creators placed several dozen figures with portraits of former political prisoners and murdered victims of Red Terror behind barbed wire. “We will not let ourselves be persuaded, and even if our neighbors aren’t going to like it, we will continue to guard our borders, only by other means,” declared Austrian Interior Minister Günter Platter, revealing how his country is looking forward to the Czech Republic’s January accession to the European Unnion’s Schengen Zone, which does away with borders between the member states. The South Bohemian dairy Madeta announced another big price hike on already costly butter (from 38 to 60 crowns for 250 grams), and the anti-monopoly office called the plan “provocation.” Mladá fronta DNES traced that František Mrázek, the murdered ringleader of the Czech underworld, had an influence on members of Miloš Zeman’s cabinet via his connections in the secret service and the National Security Authority. “I learned of that person only after he had been shot,” Zeman, nicknamed “Fog” in Mrázek’s coded list, commeted on Mrázek’s influence for the nationwide daily. Jaromír Nohavica rhapsodized the libretto of “Don Giovanni.” It surfaced that Jiří Čunek, chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, vice premier, and leader of the Czech national fight against “suntanned people who abuse social welfare benefits,” had received housing benefits in the 1990s at the same time he deposited several million crowns in the bank, police experts calculated that Čunek could have saved the deposited amount from his salary only if he as well as his unsuntanned family hadn’t paid rent, hadn’t eaten or drunk anything, and hadn’t purchased anything at all. After that news was reported, Jiří Čunek stepped down from the government. In an international survey conducted by Eurobarometer, every seveth inhabitant of the Czech Republic admitted to living life with a deep sense of happiness. In Hodonín, the case of three Czech nationalists who attacked and beat to death a Roma toluene-sniffer while heavily intoxicated last May in order to – as they put it – cleanse the city of “drugged-out gypsies” went to trial.
“The number of psychopaths among managers is on the rise, but you won’t recognize them at first glance – they are amiable, well-spoken, and they have a captivating façade. But hiding behind that affable mask is a heartless beast capable of attacking when you least expect it,” Lidové noviny cited American psychologist Paul Babiak, who has studied the fast growing occurrence of “snakes in suits” among directors of various corporations including large and small media corporations; according to Babiak, the owners place them in management positions intentionally, for these individuals enjoy being hard on others and “don’t flinch at the harshest of decisions.” A hunter killed a stag at a feeding rack near Svatoňovice. Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal to the European Union for Russia to establish a European institute to monitor compliance with human rights in Europe. The new Jára Cimrman Embankmet opened in Lipník nad Bečvou. According to iDnes news server, a new drug trend has emerged among students at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice: toad-licking; the toads emit a hallucinogenic called bufotenin, which influences the psyche, changes perceptions, and induces hallucinations. “It poses the question,” comments the server, “how true is fairytale about the girl who kisses a hideous toad, causing it to turn into a handsome prince? According to biologists, if there was enough bufotenin on the toad’s skin, such a hallucination is possible.” The film Poustevna, das ist Paradies (English title: A Town Called Hermitage) by directors Ondřej Provazník and Martin Dušek won the documentary film festival in Jihlava.