In the News 23.11.09

On freedom, ODS convention, holidays in Spain and plenty more

ON FREEDOM AND MUSLIMS. Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders who made himself infamous for inciting hatred against Muslims is planning to visit Prague. 

Upon the invitation of Senator Jiří Oberfalzer (Civic Democrat – ODS), Wilders should have addressed the Senate. But the Senators were not exactly keen on hosting the Dutch MP in their workplace, so he will have to talk about freedom and islamisation of Europe elsewhere.

“I think it is important to talk about the integration of foreigners in Europe,” Jiří Obelfalzer told Radio Česko.

And no one denies that. But Obelfalzer, a Eurosceptic and opponent to the Lisbon Treaty,  failed to answer why it should be Geert Wilders who has been accused of Islamophobia and faces trial in his own country to speak about the issue in the Czech Republic.

Noteworthy is the fact that the Czech Muslim population in the country is tiny and no problems have been reported whatsoever.


THE UNHEARD AND UNEXPECTED IN THE ODS. The weekend session of the Civic Democrats was full of surprises.

Also read:  Instead of fireworks, Prague will celebrate New Year's Day with videomapping at the National Museum

The vocal critics of the ODS leader Mirek Topolánek wanted to call for a confidence vote convention first on Saturday and later in February 2010 but Mirek Topolánek was first to call for a special convention in January 2010. He would like to have the visions and platform of the party for the next decade approved and the election campaign kicked off.

Moreover, he also said he would resign from his post should the party lose in the May 2010 elections.


COSTLY HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN. ČSOB, Raiffeisen, Česká spořitelna, and Volksbank CZ have started to block thousands of credit cards after it transpired that personal data may have been stolen.

Fraudsters are believed to have stolen personal data from Spanish Visa and Eurocard/MasterCard providers. Czech banks have been warned by Visa and Mastercard about a month ago.

There is particular concern for those who have recently visited Spain.

Over 100,000 credit cards have been also recalled in Germany. It is reportedly the largest recall in German history


Also read:  Almost 24,000 homeless people live in the Czech Republic

VELVET REVOLUTION RELOADED. Thousands of Czechs took to the streets of Prague on November 17 to re-act the Velvet Revolution which took place twenty years ago. Václav Havel, the mastermind and the hero of the Revolution was there too. And he was not alone.


ANOTHER VICTIM. The H1N1 virus has claimed a life of the fifth person in the country. This time a middle aged man who was believed to be a healthy person. The doctors said his death may have been linked directly to the virus.

In the meantime, health minister Dana Jurásková promised another dose of around 90,000 vaccines. Experts, including the country chief hygiene officer Michael Vít, expect the epidemic to reach its peak in early December.


LONG LIVE THE CZECH PIGS. The Czech press agency ČTK reports that the pig slaughter has come out of fashion.

Compare the statistics: In 2000, 75,000 tonnes of pork was slaughtered, 8 years later it is only one third. Does that mean the Czechs eat less pork than ever before? No, it doesn’t.

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The decline is due to the lower prices of the pork meat in Czech supermarkets, the Meat Processor Association says.

The European Union once wanted to ban this traditional practice popular in Eastern Europe but when Romania and Bulgaria came on board, the EU leaders have realized that it would not be so easy. Pork is a major staple in these two countries and slaughtering pigs is almost a way of life.

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