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Last week’s events – 29 May-4 June

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>>> Winter has returned to the mountains – Sněžka was covered with a 3cm-layer of snow last Thursday night. The tyre producer Barum Continental will most probably increase its production of winter tyres this summer, press reported on Tuesday. Cold weather in January and February was behind the drop in the country’s production of beer in the first quarter of 2009, according to the head of Czech Beer and Malt Association, Jan Veselý. Visitors to the Czech Beer Festival in Prague’s Letňany, which ended on Sunday, drank 145,000 beers in 10 days.

>>> The European Parliament election campaign has been culminating this week. While the initiators of egg throwing officially laid down their arms last Friday, ČSSD leader Jiří Paroubek stepped up the game this Wednesday and accused ODS members of “preparing possible provocation that will result in injuring a young person during a ČSSD rally”. Jiří Paroubek’s wife Petra Paroubková said on the weekend there is “only a small step from an egg to a stone and from a stone to a bullet”. Lisbon Treaty is dead, ODS head Mirek Topolánek declared on Saturday. Ex-President Václav Havel said Monday he is disturbed by “coarseness” of the Czech politics.

>>> The current President Václav Klaus concluded on Tuesday it is “useless to hold European elections”, as “they are only half-elections anyway”. The statement has earned Klaus two other faces, besides his own, in the European press – the French daily Libération and the Italian La Stampa published an article on the topic using by mistake the photos of the Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and MEP Vladimír Železný, respectively, instead of Klaus’s portrait.

>>> A typical Czech 18-year-old girl is slimmer than in the 1950s, but the share of extremely overweight and underweight teenagers has considerably increased since then, according to a research by the State Health Institute. Czechs are living longer and there are more people above one hundred years old, the Czech Social Security Administration has said.

>>> Reacting to a comic strip published recently by the weekly Reflex depicting Jiří Paroubek and his wife in intimate moments before the conception of their child, Paroubek called the pictures “mean-spiritedness and attack at a pregnant woman”. Petra Paroubková is ready to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary, Mf Dnes reported on Saturday.

>>> Christian Democrats are turning left, the press reported on Monday, referring to the leftist opinions of Cyril Svoboda, who was elected the new KDU-ČSL chairman at the weekend party congress.

>>> Football club Slavia and its fans were celebrating the club’s victory in the Czech football league on Saturday. Football player Pavel Nedvěd said goodbye to Juventus and football playing after a 2-0 home win over Lazio on Sunday. The Regional Court in Ostrava has begun an insolvency proceeding for football club Baník Ostrava over unpaid debts.

>>> “People are more careful with money, but their hair won’t stop growing. We’ll see what happens if middle class unemployment keeps growing,” Jiří Doležel from Klier, the largest hair salon network in the Czech Republic, has commented for Mf Dnes on the situation in hair care services industry with respect to the current financial crisis. The downturn has not had much bad impact on drugstores either, as dm drogerie and other drugstore chains are planning expansion on the Czech market in the next few years, HN reported on Tuesday. “It’s no longer what it used to be. It’s been going downhill since the beginning of the year. I’m glad now, when I manage to beg 150 crowns a day. Only this winter I wouldn’t go out there for less than 200 crowns a day,” Tonda from Prague’s Vršovické náměstí, who begs and digs trash for a living, told Tuesday’s Lidové noviny.

>>> Shares on the Prague bourse rose by 6.2% on International Children’s Day, the biggest growth in two months. An analysis by the Czech Credit Bureau states that 356 companies went bankrupt in Q1, the highest result in five years and a 20% rise year-on-year. April industrial production dropped by 23.2%.

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