Written by Naďa Straková
Prague – FROM RUSSIA WITH BOMBS – that is the latest news from Russia about their plan to retaliate for the US missile defense base to be stationed on Czech soil.
At first, Russia has significantly reduced the oil supply to the Czech Republic. The oil cuts came after the treaty on the US missile defense system was signed in Prague. But apparently, the drop in supply happened only for “technical reasons”, claims Moscow.
That is what also Ivan Ottis, a Unipetrol leading representative, says. Ottis talked to Aktuálně.cz about the reasons why Russia, Czechs´ major oil supplier, has been rather unreliable in the past few weeks.
Later on, a number of Russian officials have proposed to deploy bombers in Cuba in response to the US radar base planned in the Czech Republic, which Russia views as a security threat. Ottis has been in the oil industry business for over 28 years and among other says, Russian oil is easily replaceable.
But the craftiest retaliation of them all is the boycott of Czech beer, as proposed by one of Russian think-tanks.
Which of them all would you consider having the most tragic effects – oil supplies, bombers in Cuba or Czech beer boycott?
For Alexander Pikayev, an analyst at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, it´s clearly the beer:
“If Russians stopped drinking Czech beer in response to the stationing of the US radar, it would be a much more serious sign, more serious than cutting off oil supplies or than any letter of protest sent by the Russian foreign minister.”
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CHINA. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should allow free speech during the Olympic Games in Beijing, says an open letter addressed to the IOC and signed by former Czech president Václav Havel and a few Czech top politicians.
“We call on all participants of the summer Olympic Games in Beijing to use this liberty to support those whose freedoms, even at the time of the Olympics, are denied by the Chinese government.”
HISTORY MAKING ON TRAIN. You won’t object to the saying that history can be made any time any place. But what about on a train?
A small town Čierna nad Tisou´s freight train station has always been a busy place where trains come, download and load and go again.
In 29 July 1968, Soviet political representatives arrived in Čierna nad Tisou to meet their Czechoslovak counterparts to speak truly serious stuff – the future of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia. You can easily predict what happened shortly after that. But see what preceded it here.
IN THE SERVICE OF SECRET POLICE. Closing some chapters in history proves somewhat impossible and it seems from time to time the communist past comes to haunt some, even including high-ranking politicians. Members of Czech Parliament Walter Bartoš, Juraj Raninec, Tomáš Hasil and
Pavel Ploc were accused of having cooperate with the Communist Military Counter-intelligence before the Velvet Revolution. They all naturally deny the accusation of cooperating with secret police. And the case is not really that black and white, as it could seem.
“The fact that somebody was registered as a confidant or a candidate with the secret service doesn’t mean he was a snitch,” said the spokesman of Archive of Security Forces. Jiří Reichel.
OUT AND BACK. One day he is out, the next day he is back on track.
It was a major event in the Austrian football summer, even though the main role is played by a Czech. Former Czech Republic’s national football team coach Karel Brückner is set to take over the Austrian national team, replacing Austrian Josef Hickersberger.
Brückner’s appointment as the new Austrian coach was a surprise for many who predicted the career of the 68-year-old self-confessed “football junkie” to be all but over after the EURO 2008 debacle. Well-known sport journalist and commentator Jaromír Bosák is said to have nearly crashed his car after he learned the news on the radio.
NOMURA NO MORE. Since now on you will not hear the name Nomura again.
At least not in relation to the Czech state owing billions crowns to the Japan-based bank. The deal is finally settled and Nomura is richer with CZK 3.6 billion in its bank account. To find out why the Czech government had to pay, just click here.
THE AWARD GOES TO.. And a little guess for you at the end – Which Czech politicians are successful in self-promotion and communication with the public and which are not?
You can choose out of these: President Václav Klaus, PM Mirek Topolánek, Ministers Ivan Langer, Miroslav Kalousek, Tomáš Julínek, Martin Bursík, Jiří Čunek, Prague Mayor Pavel Bém, head of the Social Democratic Party Jiří Paroubek and shadow Health Minister David Rath.
And you can see the winner and the loser here.