In the News 7.4.08

Čunek returns, Dylan plays Ostrava, & more...

Written by Naďa Straková
Aktuálně.cz CzechNews

 

HE IS BACK. After more than a six-month absence in the government, controversial politician Jiří Čunek (Christian Democrats or KDU ČSL) is back in business after agreeing to have an auditor review his finances, which was a condition set by foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg if he was to sit at the same table with the ex-ex-Deputy Prime Minister again.

Experts say, however, such an audit is chiefly dependent on the documents the audited subject submits. So the question remains: how effective such an audit can be ?

The Green Party stayed in the cabinet despite its previous collective threats as well but warned Mr. Čunek to avoid commenting on the Roma issues in the future.

***

Tense emotions, Molotov cocktails and ripped off seats were flying in the air during the traditionally hotly contested football derby match between SK Slavia and AC Sparta that took place in Prague’s Strahov stadium  last Monday.

“We haven’t yet assesed the damages in precise numbers. Both sectors – that of Sparta fans and that of Slavia supporters – were affected. But there is no doubt that we are talking about hundreds of thousands of crowns in damages,” Slavia spokesman Ondřej Zlámal told Aktuálně.cz about Prague´s old rivals´ latest encounter.

***

Representatives of the Czech Heritage Office and castle caretakers managed to retain Lichtenstein’s art collection items that went under the hammer in  Amsterdam’s Christie’s auction house last Tuesday.

Also read:  Czech PM blasts cab driver who threw out blind woman with guide dog

With the total sum of 10 million CZK the representatives managed to buy 28 auctioned items. These are mainly furniture pieces and art works that used to decorate residences of the Lichtensteins in Moravia.

One of the most precious items purchased in Amsterdam is a painting by Pieter Brueghel – Flowers, Still-life, for which the Czech government paid 1 million CZK and is to be displayed in the chateau of Lednice this summer.

***

Not everybody wants to spend their honeymoon by the Niagara Falls or in Riviera. Klára Vrbová and her husband Stanislav Sedláček decided to take a post-wedding vaca(c)tion in Greece where they attended a protest against the recent Chinese authorities´ crackdown on the Tibetans. They both were arrested and Klára talked to Aktuálně.cz about her personal and unpleasant encounter with Greek police. 

***

Not long ago Aktuálně.cz brought you a series of reports on the city of Ostrava in Moravia which seems to be increasingly blossoming and quickly catching up with Prague in development.

Now, the Ostrava airport offers two direct flights – one to Vienna and one to Prague – and Ostrava is also the only city where American legendary folk singer Bob Dylan is to perform this June. It is going to be his first concert outside of Prague.

***

Last week the expanded passport free Schengen zone celebrated its 100 days of existence. Crime has not increased as much as some expected but in few German region towns Polish and Czech gangs are said to be operating. Car thefts and break-ins, something that the citizens of the German small towns of Zittau, Zwickau and Goerlitz have been largely spared of until now.

***

Sensitive diplomatic issues and support of other secessionist movements in Europe are the chief reasons why the Czech Republic has not pledged support to recognition of Kosovo yet. PM Mirek Topolánek´s government wants more information on the issue and more debate. Given the fact that parliament has to give the government’s decision a stamp of approval, its future seems to be as uncertain as that of Kosovo itself.

***

Prague Mayor Pavel Bém (Civic Democrats) has left the city for Nepal at around the same time that Žabka (little frog in English) grocery stores arrived here. The new Polish chain hopes it can fill the gap in the Czech market by being open from 6 am to 11 pm and offering a variety of goods, starting from food to newspapers and basic cosmetics. All we need for our daily life, indeed. Hearing this, one should be as happy as a frog, I guess.

Also read:  Czech flag to celebrate 100 years of existence next month

***

And lastly, warning to all of those who enjoy looking at bloodied, charred and mangled bodies (oh yes, there are people like that, we hear): Do not expect to get your fix in Czech media in the future.

Should any of the media outlets operating in the Czech Republic decide to publish a picture of a car crash victim, they have to be aware since now on that they could end up paying hundreds of CZK to the mourners, as the Supreme Court ruled in the case of parents who filed a complaint about Czech tabloid Šíp (that is arrow in Czech, not a sheep, but its aim was clearly wrong on this one).


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