Pussy willows bloomed. Prague managed to rank 12th on the list of Europe’s wealthiest regions. Meteorologists declared there would be no more winter. The ministry of finance and the Czech National Bank agreed that the euro would become the Czech Republic’s official currency at the first stroke of midnight in 2012. Wine consumption reached seventeen liters per capita annually.
“We will not comment on that statement,” said Premier Mirek Topolánek, referring to the Russian generals who threatened to aim missiles at Prague if the Czech Republic agrees to let the U.S. build a defense radar system on its territory; at the same time, Topolánek’s government declared it would definitely approve the American radar base. Mortgage rates dropped and the price of older prefab apartments rose. A new air traffic control center for the Czech Republic started operating in Jeneč u Prahy. A fire damaged part of the steelworks in Hrádek u Rokycan.
Swedish television networks reported that the Swedish arms maker BAE Systems had bribed the governments of many countries, including the Czech Republic, in an effort to sell its Gripen fighters; the news caused a hullabaloo in Czech political and justice circles. Škoda Auto began drawing up plans for a new, low-priced car. Victoria Plzeň football club owner Zdeněk Smetana (44) shot himself in the head at his villa on the Úslava River without leaving a suicide note.
“The art world is cold, people aren’t interested in their families, their friends, or even where they came from – all they care about is output; I can’t tell my agent, ‘It’s my daughter’s first day at school, I’d like the day off.’ He has ten more singers who have no problems, so I can’t take the liberty of slacking,” Dagmar Pecková told reporters, describing her life as a world-class opera singer. Komerční banka pilot-launched keeping its branches open on Saturdays. Miroslav Bambušek opened his new theatre project, Don’t Touch Fidel, in the Prague club NoD. A shopping mall featuring inexpensive clothing was opened in Štěrboholy.
Interspar hypermarkets decided to start selling Austrian meat in the Czech Republic instead of locally produced meat; after the news was released, members of the Agrarian Chamber occupied Interspar’s halls and handed out flyers to shoppers with the question, “By shopping here in this store, do you, too, want to contribute to the liquidation of Czech agriculture?” The popularity of share funds increased. The cabinet approved a law allowing the sale of Czech property to citizens of countries other than those in the European Union.
Snowboarders carried on at the Sport Fashion trade fair in Letňany. The Supreme Court took the St. Vitus’ Cathedral away from the Catholic Church, on which the cathedral had previously been conferred by the District Court for Prague 1 after a thirteen-year legal battle; the Church leadership announced it would not give up the cathedral and would take the dispute to the European Court in Strasbourg.
“We had known each other for 30 years, from the days of the People’s Militia troops, and when we started living together a year ago, we established seven basic rules for living together, which we ironically borrowed from Charter 77; she just couldn’t adhere to the rules and then always asked me to punish her for it,” said pensioner Josef Kodat (62) before the Ústí nad labem court, which sentenced him to seven years in prison for beating his companion to death with a broom and ferule. TV Prima absorbed the famous faces of TV Nova.
Czech Television filed 30,000 lawsuits against people it suspects of watching the public network without paying the mandatory fee. ČEZ stock dropped along with the slump in the Prague stock exchange. Hamé Babice’s earnings to 4.5 billion. Media reported that two terrorist bombs exploded, caused a fire, and killed tens of travelers on the Samjhauta Express aka the “peace train” linking Delhi, India to Lahore, Pakistan. Prague archbishop Miloslav Vlk (75) confided to newspapers that he wants to resign from his position as cardinal this May.
The management of the Železné Mountains Protected Landscape Area decided to let part of it’s the territory it manages grow wild and thereby turn it into a virgin forest within one hundred years. The number of people with damaged kidneys rose. The Australian company Uran Ltd. expressed interest in mining uranium in Dolní Rožinec. The National Theatre opened Tom Stoppard’s play Rock’n’Roll. The discount chains Lidl and Kaufland became the most popular, i.e. most visited, shops. The agency Science and Media announced a new contest – called “Czech Little-head” – to find the most intelligent and scientifically gifted secondary school student.