In the News 14.4.09

Fischer sworn in, Roma segregation & more...

2 in 1. TWO HEADS IN ONE COUNTRY. Since last week the Czech Republic has two heads of the government.

Jan Fischer, head of the Czech National Statistics Office, was sworn in by President Václav Klaus on Maundy Thursday.

The 58-year old economist who has spent most of his life in the Statistical Office or in the academia will try to form a new cabinet, which should assume power on May 9. And it looks like that for more than a month Fischer’s government will preside over the EU (until the end of June).

But President Klaus announced earlier that he would happily take over the EU Presidency, if need be. The EU leaders may not welcome his initiative to be at the helm of EU that happily, though. Klaus is a worldwide known eurosceptic and one of his priorities is to shelve the Lisbon Treaty.


OBAMONANIA NOT OVER YET. In an exclusive interview Aktuálně.cz talked to a personal bodyguard on the Czech side on the condition his name will not be revealed.Among other (interesting) things he speaks about what it takes to be a high-profile bodyguard. Laura Bush, Miloš Zeman, Václav Klaus were all his “clients”. 

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Bodyguards may be required to act almost as “robots” but they are certainly humans too and have their own needs, views and feelings. Find out what they are here.


TO COMMEMORATE OR NOT TO COMMEMORATE. Gustav Husák was the last president of communist Czechoslovakia. Now, should we ever commemorate him or not? Does he deserve to have his own plaque or not?

Majority of Aktuálně.cz readers may have clear answers for that but inhabitants of Dúbravka, Husák’s native town do not. And typically, neither do Slovak politicians.

The plaque proposed by the Communist Party of Slovakia was supposed to be presented last year to commemorate Slovak-bron Husák’s 95th birthday but the disputes prevailing over the issue delayed the project and the plaque should be erected this May.


ROMA KIDS NOT IN NORMAL SCHOOLS. Rather than struggle with young Roma, teachers transfer them to special schools.

That is the situation in one quarter of Czech schools. Teachers often resist working with problematic children, whether it be handicapped or Roma children. Kids in schools are still divided into the “white and healthy” and the “other”.

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These are the latest findings in an extensive survey of the GAC agency and People in Need foundation.

The survey conducted by People in Need is based on more than 500 hours of interviews in 104 schools in eight regions of the country.

It focuses on areas with high Roma population. People in Need talked to children, parents, teachers and assistants.

“Schools and their teachers still do not approach children with certain disadvantage equally,” said Zdeněk Svoboda from People in Need.


KILLING AND SMILING. The closely watched trial with a killer of a son of Czech MPs’ friend has come to the end. The court sentenced Bohumír Ďuričko to 12.5 years in prison.

Ďuričko was the one to start the fight, boasting of all the money he has got, which is said to have provoked Kočka, says the judge.

Ďuričko also was the one who shot young Kočka. Ďuričko will also stay imprisoned even if he appeals against the verdict.

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His smile ever present during the trial must have been as provoking to the judge as his words to Kočka.


ANTI-NATO POSTER CAMPAIGN. The founding of NATO 60 years ago made the Eastern bloc countries strike back and launch a massive anti-NATO propaganda campaign with pro-communist posters.

The event was largely dictated by Moscow’s politburo. Have a look at the best of the best.

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